Teacher Profile - Tom Doyle May 04 2017, 0 Comments

Tom Doyle has been teaching bridge (yes, that card game we all used to play, and many of us still do) at the Bay School, for going on seven years now.  

Why would he do this? Well, mainly because they asked him to, and, with some reservations, he was happy to oblige. Tom had moved to Mathews from Northern Virginia, to be near his daughter Valerie. This was just after his wife passed away. He knew he didn't need to sit around and mope in his new Cobbs Creek house, and so he started playing bridge again (after a 35-year layoff). Bridge is a great game, easy enough to learn the basic rules, but very hard to play well, far more skill than luck. There were two long-running local games that he learned about, on Gwynn's Island and at the Woman's Club. So he joined those games, loved the competition, but also, and mostly, the wonderful social aspects that bridge provides. He soon felt most welcome and happy in Mathews, largely because of this.

(Early on, Tom and Betsy Paul, of Gwynn's Island, became regular bridge partners. Betsy's husband passed away a few years ago, and the two are now very close friends.)

Tom is not too bad a player, Word got around, and they asked him to teach. He had taught chemistry for most of his 35 years as a research chemist, worldwide in fact, but had never tried teaching bridge. This mere game? Why not? There were, as mentioned, some reservations. Those who know Tom know that he is totally deaf (he had meningitis as a young boy), so there are certain challenges involved. But things have worked out just fine, in fact this class being "different" is probably part of the fun. Seven years of it, and counting.

Tom Doyle was born in NYC in 1938, became deaf fom meningitis at age eight. BS in Chemistry, 1960, Fordham University. Ph.D in Chemistry, 1971, George Washington University. 35 yrs as Chemist, Research Chemist, Supervisory Research Chemist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Published extensively, patent-holder, lectured, taught nationally and internationally (Egypt, Venezuela, Scotland, Sweden, etc.). Retired in 2000. Now widowed, four children (two now in Mathews), five grandchildren. Dear friend of Betsy Paul of Richmond/Gwynn's Island.

In addition to teaching bridge (not only in Mathews but in Gloucester also), Tom is Director/Manager/Webmaster of the Mathews Duplicate Bridge Club (www.bridgewebs.com/mathewsdbc). He holds the rank of Silver Life Master in the ACBL, and plays often in games and tournaments on the east coast, winning his fair share.