'Audad' Doyle a teacher to all -- all his 95 years

December 18, 2005|By MARLO BARNHART

When Truman Doyle showed his first grandchild a crawdad he had caught, then-18-month-old Scott Stouffer repeated the new word as "audad" and thereafter, every time he saw his grandfather, he called him that, and it stuck.

Now 48, Scott Stouffer and many of Truman's other grandchildren have called him that ever since.

"Later, my mom conceded to be called aumom," said Truman's daughter, Zada Yumlu.

Truman - aka audad - died Dec. 7 at the age of 95.

His widow, Leontine Doyle, said she and Truman couldn't help but know each other when they were in school in Nebraska.

"There were only seven students in our high school graduating class," she said.

Now 93, Leontine said when they entered college, their friendship deepened as they both pursued teaching careers. They were married 75 years in August.


Times were hard in Nebraska in those early days before World War II, so the couple headed east with their first child, Zada, looking for work. Truman filled the industrial arts job at Boonsboro High School, a position he held for 33 years, from 1941 until his retirement.

A second daughter, Jane Cogswell, arrived in 1947. Six years later, Leontine went back to teaching kindergarten and third grade.

The Doyle family spent a lot of time together while Truman pursued his passions - nature, native wildflowers and collecting minerals.

"We all have jewelry that dad made," Zada said.

Leontine described her husband as inquisitive, always curious about everything.

"He loved to be out looking for things," she said. "If he saw a new flower, he'd get it and look it up."

Even as he got older, Truman still was active.

"Just three weeks before he died, he went out to lunch with mom and my sister Jane," Zada said.

Unfortunately, soon after that outing, Truman fell and broke his pelvis. His health quickly went downhill after that, Zada said.

At the Dec. 10 memorial service for Truman, several family members stepped up to share their favorite memories of the man they described as a force of nature.

Son-in-law Arthur Cogswell credited Truman with getting him into teaching.

"He was an amazing teacher and I wanted to be like him," Arthur said. "His teaching far exceeded the classroom."

Grandchildren remarked on how they, and later their own children, would light up when "audad" came into a room.

Stepgranddaughter Beth Yumlu told of audad's stories of his travels and experiences, which she said helped solidify her love of and interest in national parks.

Daughter Jane spoke of the monumental changes her father had seen in his life - air travel, television, computers. And this for a man who used to ride a horse to school.

No opportunity ever was missed to teach his students, children or grandchildren something new "whether we were in the mood to learn or not," Jane said. Those nuggets of information could range from how to hold an unruly sheep to give it a pill to turning over rocks in a stream to catch hellgrammites for fishing bait.

Raised in the Muslim faith in his native Turkey, son-in-law Salih Yumlu spoke with deep fondness for the man who accepted him as a member of the family when he and Zada married 32 years ago.

"There is a saying that you must love your sons," Salih said. The saying goes on to say that with daughters ... "you will love them anyway."

Moved to tears by her husband's expression of reverence for her late father, Zada began to scribble on a piece of notebook paper what she was too emotional to say aloud.

"As a child, I believed my dad could do anything and during my lifetime, I never had to give up this belief," she wrote.

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