About Gene Doyle

Gene Doyle was born in Naples, Florida in 1976. In his early years, he dabbled in model rocket-launching, go-cart engine repair, PAL Gators football and Little League baseball. By the time he entered Naples High School with the Class of 1995, however, his appetite for adventure and his strong interest in wrestling, herpetology, marine science, ceramic art and fishing were well known. He bred and raised poison dart frogs and numerous snakes in his bedroom, he dug and stocked a pond in his backyard and spent every extra minute with a fishing pole in hand.

At Poinciana Elementary School and Gulfview Middle School, he excelled academically and brightened teachers' classrooms with a disarming smile. At Naples High School, his star shined even more brightly. He earned varsity letters in cross-country, track and field, swimming and wrestling. In his senior year, he wrestled to the overall runner-up position for the State of Florida in his weight class.

Gene became Student Council president as a senior, brightening fellow students days' with a humorous approach to his duties on the intercom for morning announcements. He balanced his academic and athletic careers with attention to his foremost activity: living life to the fullest. Waterskiing, fishing, frog-gigging and Everglades spotlighting topped his weekend activities. Those who knew him say he always had a new idea and boundless energy. Getting rich quick was always on his list of adventures, but only if getting there was fun.

Immediately after graduating high school, having convinced his parents to buy him a one-way ticket, Gene headed to Alaska looking for work, but more importantly, looking for an adventure. He spent that first summer in Alaska working as a deckhand on a charter fishing boat, living in a tent on the beach and having no means of transportation. He came home full of stories and enthusiasm, as always. He returned to Alaska the following summer as a skiff operator for a commercial salmon fishing boat. He considered his job dragging the purse seine net to be an art form. He planned to return to Alaska in the summer of 1997 as a Coast Guard certified marine captain. He and his buddy John Crofts had plans to buy a boat and start their own Alaskan commercial fishing venture. No one doubts how successful it would have been.

Four years of good cheer and academic merit at Naples High School earned Gene a scholarship and place in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. Advanced Placement classes put him a year ahead of fellow classmates on the road to a degree in marine science. He participated in a rock climbing club and field hockey team and founded a wrestling club at the University of South Carolina. He planned to attend a study abroad program in Belize in the spring semester of 1997.

On November 17, 1996, Gene was killed in a car accident on Interstate 95. Gene will be forever missed and remembered by all those who were fortunate enough to have him as a part of their lives.  His adventurous spirit lives on in the lives of young people whose adventures bear his name.

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