This Side Up

Friend’s death a case of mistaken identity

March 18, 2014 

I met David Doyle at a Community Awards event. I was accepting an award on behalf of Indian Land Action Council; He was getting one for the Knights of Columbus at St. Catherine’s Church for Operation Hope.

Doyle and his wife moved to Sun City almost six years ago from Florida after his daughter insisted they move back to the Carolinas because of our excellent doctors. He had health issues – kidney, bladder, prostate and skin, all cancerous. He also had a kidney removed, but he was always in a good mood, joking and kidding.

In one of our many conversations, he asked if Indian Land Action would approve the digital sign for a message on behalf of the Knights of Columbus to help collect money for Operation Hope. We approved it and the sign went up. Doyle would call and give me an update on the collections and how things were going, never complaining.

Our paths crossed again when I booked a trip to Disney World with a local travel agency. I called to see how things were going. His daughter recognized my voice – she was the travel agent who booked our reservations.

When the Knights of Columbus presented all three Indian Land schools with a sizable check, each Indian Land Action Council member was awarded a Community Involvement Award in a special program held by the Knights.

So, I was shocked when I read the obituaries on March 5 and saw David Doyle had died. I called the local funeral homes, but information on David Doyle wasn’t available. I was feeling a little upset because no one called to tell me he had died.

I got the shock of my life when I answered the phone the other night. It was David Doyle. He was living and breathing and joking. The obituary was for a different man named David Doyle.

My first comment was, “Where are you calling from?”

What do you say to someone you thought had died? Doyle said he has had a lot of explaining to do.

“So I thought I would call several people to tell them I am alive and well in Sun City,” he said.

I also spoke to his wife. She has been bombarded with condolences. She is handling this well and tells everyone before they speak that her husband is not dead.

So to the Doyles, here’s to many more happy years, and thanks for giving so much back to this community.

Have a comment or column idea for Pat? Email her at pateudy09@carolina.rr.com.

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