Doyle, Ruth Bachhuber
MADISON - Ruth Bachhuber Doyle passed away on Saturday, May 6, 2006, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease at the age of 89. Born in 1916, in Milwaukee and raised in Wausau, Ruth Bachhuber Doyle was the third child of Frank E. Bachhuber and Mabel Foley. In 1940, she married James E. Doyle, Sr. of Oshkosh, who she met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who later became U.S. District Court Judge. In 1948, as a young mother of three, she became one of the first women elected to the Wisconsin Legislature. She was the fourth generation of her family to serve in the Wisconsin Assembly, following in the footsteps of her father (Frank E. Bachhuber, 1933), grandfather (Andrew Bachhuber, 1885), and great-grandfather (Max Bachhuber, 1860, 1864 and 1875). The Bachhubers remain the only four generation family in Wisconsin history to win election to the state Legislature. With her husband, Ruth Bachhuber Doyle helped rebuild the Democratic Party in Wisconsin. When she was elected to the Assembly, she was the first Democrat in decades and the first woman ever to represent Madison. Assemblywoman Doyle tried in 1951 to secure employment for a female applicant to the Assembly Sergeant-at-Arms staff. The Sergeant at the time refused to hire a woman, claiming that women would distract the male legislators. In 1952, Ruth Bachhuber Doyle ran unsuccessfully for State Treasurer, becoming one of the first women to ever run on her own for statewide office. She went on to serve with distinction as the only female member of the Dane County Board and was the first female president of the Madison School Board. In 1990, the School Board named the district's administration building in her honor. She is also recalled warmly by thousands of lawyers in the state for her notable service as longtime assistant to the Dean of the UW-Madison Law School. While at the University, she helped launch a successful initiative to recruit and retain minority students. She stayed in close touch with many of these students over the years, serving as a mentor and a friend. The Ruth Bachhuber Doyle Award is given annually to recognize the outstanding student contribution to the law school community. The James E. and Ruth B. Doyle chair is an endowed professorship that honors both her and her husband's signal service to the Law School. Ruth Bachhuber Doyle's commitment to education also came through in her work as a schoolteacher in the Oregon school district. It was part of a long and diverse career that showed that women could be successful in many fields. Doyle taught her children to never shy away from a challenge, and was proud that her three daughters and her son went on to successful law careers. In 2003, though suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease, she attended the inauguration of her son as Wisconsin's 44th governor. She is survived by three daughters, Mary, Catherine, Anne; and her son, James; son-in-law, James Brudney; daughter-in-law, Jessica Laird Doyle; eight grandchildren, Gus and Gabe Doyle, Joseph Pickman, Ruth and Nelle Rohlich, Edward, Henry, and Rose Brudney; great-grandson, Asiah Doyle; and a sister, Mary (Alan) Simmons. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, James E. Doyle Sr.; and two brothers, Frank Bachhuber, and Dick Bachhuber. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2006, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2006, at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison with Msgr. Kenneth Fiedler presiding. Friends may greet the family from 10 a.m. until time of services on Tuesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the University of Wisconsin Foundation, Scholarship Fund, PO Box 8860, Madison, WI 53791. The family would like to thank the staff at Attic Angels for their many years of loving care. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434 www.cressfuneralservice.com

 

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