Doyle Joseph “Papa” Belisle was born in Somerset, Wisconsin on July 6, 1929 to Paul Joseph Belisle, Jr. and Violet Genevieve Houyde at the beginning of the Great Depression. He grew up in Somerset during the era of John Dillinger and “Pretty Boy” Floyd, who sometimes used places in and near Somerset as hide-outs. Doyle and his friends would ride the running boards of John Dillinger’s Packard as it cruised through town. He attended grade school at St. Anne’s Catholic School, and graduated from Somerset High School where he played football, baseball and basketball.
He met his sweetheart Ethleen Marie “Sandi” Sandell in the summer of 1950; they were engaged by January of 1951, shortly before Doyle was drafted into the Army. He left for basic training in February of 1951 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sandi traveled to North Carolina and they were married on May 5, 1951 at Chapel 22 on Fort Bragg.
Doyle was shipped to Korea in November of 1951 and was in country assigned to a 155mm Howitzer unit until February 1953. His unit received commendations from Generals for their accuracy in cover-fire for Marine units during the Korean War.
Once he returned home, Doyle and Sandi built a home on Belmont Ave. in St. Paul, MN and started their family of seven children. Dianne and Therese were born and lived in St. Paul for two years after which Doyle and Sandi bought a home in Somerset, Wisconsin. The rest of the seven children were born in quick succession, Nanette, Yvette, Doyle, Douglas and Wendy.
Doyle and Sandi raised their family and lived in Somerset where they were active in the St. Anne’s Catholic church community; Doyle directed the church choir for a while. As their children got older, both Doyle and Sandi were active in Boy and Girl Scouts as leaders, Doyle helped fund and coach the boys little league and established little league girls’ softball. They stayed active in the community until they retired in 1986, and moved from Somerset.
They bought a lake home on Tainter Lake, 8 miles north of Menomonie, Wisconsin. They purchased a Motorhome and toured the U.S., Mexico and Canada for 13 years during the winter months, at times visiting family and looking for genealogy documents for Sandi’s passion. In 2000 they moved from Tainter Lake to a newly built home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where they lived until July, 2021 when they moved to live with daughter Nanette and her family in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Doyle was a true artisan at heart and enjoyed many passions throughout his life including: handcrafting jewelry, woodworking, stained glass works, and ceramic work among others. There are countless stories about Doyle’s remarkable life that will carry his memory for those who knew him best. He truly lived each day to the fullest and loved his family immensely.
Doyle is survived by daughters, Dianne Belisle, Therese Belisle (Laurie Craft), Nanette (Larry Bradley), Yvette (Rick Prigge) and Wendy (David Lausted); daughter-in-law, Joan Bekius Belisle (Doyle) and son Douglas (Tamera Humphrey). Doyle was the proud “Papa” to 18 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and many extended family and friends.
Doyle was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Ethleen Marie Sandell (August 2021); son, Doyle Lawrence (October 2021); daughter Dianne’s partner, Raven Marchetti (2012); grandson, Kellen Doyle Belisle-Lamoureux (Aug 2021); his parents, Paul Joseph Belisle, Jr. and Violet Genevieve Houyde; brothers, Francis and wife Nona Belisle, Verlyn and wife Lois Belisle, Arnold and wife LaValle Belisle; sisters, Irene and husband Floyd Bohn and Claudette and husband Pete Nelson.
A ceremony honoring Doyle’s life and military honors will be held on Friday, May 27th, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. at Mills River Baptist Church, located at 689 S. Mills River Rd. in Mills River, NC. Pastor Thomas Glenn will be officiating. The family will receive friends from 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., prior to the service, at the church.
Date: Friday, May 27, 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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