The board of directors of the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame has selected four candidates for induction into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in September, including Dr. Tom Doyle of Eagle River.

The other inductees are Judy Ferwerda from Madison, Bob Peschel of Shorewood and Cal Roadhouse from Pewaukee. The Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony will be held in Eagle River on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Doyle was born in Mineral Point and raised in the throes of the Depression. Organized hockey, and money to pay for it, didn’t exist at that time, but Doyle learned to skate and play hockey on the Point Brewery Pond. After service as a dentist in the United States Air Force in Guam and Roswell, N.M., Doyle settled in Eagle River where he would live and raise his family.

Although he was not a native of Eagle River, he quickly became associated with very familiar Wisconsin hockey names like Spiess, Richter, Obrodovich and others who were historically active in the hockey community. 

When the future of the Dome, the oldest indoor hockey arena in Wisconsin, came into question, “Doc” as he was known, jumped into the fray with others and went business to business securing names on notes to raise the $25,000 needed to purchase the arena from the Dorfman family within the 24-hour deadline allowed.

Doyle went on to become part of virtually every project to expand and improve the arena, from adding artificial ice to raising funds for the front addition and purchasing the Zamboni. Prior to the first real Zamboni, Doyle often flooded the arena using a contraption built from a 55-gallon barrel, piping and towels to spread the water evenly. This device was even labeled as “Zamboni Driver Doc.” 

A member of the board of directors of the Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA), Doyle was instrumental in the establishment of the Eagle River Summer Hockey School and the Eagle River Figure Skating School. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Youth Days Auction and he and his family spent many hours working this event to raise money for the ERRA. His overall devotion to programs like these and the World Championship Snowmobile Derby helped the citizens of Eagle River through the lean months of winter when tourists were scarce.

Doyle and others were also responsible for the establishment of the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and he served on that board for many years. Though he is long past his active role in these programs, Doyle’s performance helped keep hockey alive and well in Wisconsin, and his own family has gone on to pursue hockey in other states and even internationally, where his granddaughter officiated at the Junior Olympics in Switzerland.

Doyle is retired and lives in Eagle River. He and his late wife Shirley raised three children, Christine, Greg and Patrick.

The ceremonies in Eagle River include a golf tournament, banquet and the induction ceremony. The banquet and induction are by advance reservation only. Questions about tickets can be directed to Joe Boxrucker at (715) 479-9772 or to Pat Weber at (715) 479-8912. To obtain a brochure, contact John Hack by email at john.hack1967@gmail.com, or by phone at (218) 391-2301. Advance reservations for all events can be made online at wihockeyhalloffame.com.

Congratulations to “Doc” Doyle for his induction into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame! Hockey in Eagle River wouldn’t be what it is today without Doyle’s many contributions.