Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA



June 22, 1932July 18, 2020

Clara McNierney Doyle, 88, of Arlington, VA, died peacefully at home on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Born in Titusville, PA, to Leon and Eleanor (Bronson) McNierney, she graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Titusville, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. She stayed in Philadelphia to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher, and taught at Edwin H. Vare Junior High School, where she met another teacher, Vincent Doyle. The two were married at St. Titus Roman Catholic Church in Titusville, on July 12, 1958. The couple relocated to Arlington, VA, for Vincent’s new job with the Pentagon, and Clara taught for a year at Stratford Junior High School. With a newborn son, they moved to McLean, VA, where they raised all six of their children. Her beloved husband Vincent retired from a long career with the Smithsonian Institution in 1989, and died in 1994. An active parishioner at St. Luke Catholic Church and school, over the course of 57 years Clara served as a Religious Education teacher and volunteered on numerous committees, becoming well known for her warm presence, cheerful helpfulness, and dedication. In 1998, she retired from 18 years with the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley. At that time, she broadened her volunteer activities, giving her time and energy to international, national, and local organizations that promoted peace, social justice, and community service. In 2018, she moved from McLean to a retirement community in Arlington, and soon became involved in a variety of activities while making many new friends.

She is survived by her six children: Gregory Doyle of South Bend, IN; Margaret M. Doyle of New York City; Kathleen B. Doyle of Burke, VA; Timothy J. (Lara) Doyle) of Arlington, VA; Jeremy L. (Colby) Doyle of Houston, TX; and Susan D. (Lawrence) Nightingale of Alexandria, VA; as well as 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two of her five siblings: William McNierney of Buffalo, NY, and Jeremy McNierney of New Wilmington, PA.

A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA, on Friday, July 24, at 1:00 p.m. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed the day of the funeral service. Please return to this page for the link to view the service. There will be a video box below this obituary to participate in the lives stream. If there are any issues, please copy and paste the link into another page to be able to watch at this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-85hwZS7f8&feature=youtu.be.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the The Griffin Fund at Chestnut Hill College in memory of Clara M. Doyle at https://www.chcgriffinsonline.com/sslpage.aspx?pid=298


  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Friday, July 24, 2020




have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeanne English

July 25, 2020

I graduated with your mother and have stayed best of friends throughout the years. I so enjoyed her sense of humor. She will always be a part of my fond memories of growing up in Titusville.
Jeanne English (St. Joseph Academy Class of 1950)

George Farnsworth

July 25, 2020

Clara Doyle worked with the McLean Community Players on four shows, beginning in 1998 with Witness for the Prosecution. We remember her efforts as an actor and as a House Manager.

Maribeth Yoder

July 24, 2020

My family, the Mournighan Clan, have known the Doyle's since I was 5 years old. I walked by their house on my way to school at St. Luke. I went to school with three of the Doyles, and the older three used to babysit for my siblings and I. Clara is one of my mother's dearest friends. She and Vince were such a pair of joy. I think of her as an extended member of our family, because that is how she made me feel. She is someone that you liked as soon as you met her. Consider yourself lucky if you could count her as a friend, and if she treated you like family, you were blessed indeed.

Heaven has gained an angel this week, and those that remain here on earth will miss her terribly. God Bless you, Clara, and all those who are blessed to have known you.

Francis Nightingale

July 24, 2020

We met Mrs. Doyle about ten years ago when our children Lawrence and Susan married. She was always a sweet and pleasant lady. We were always glad to see each other. We shared a wonderful friendship. She gave us a wonderful daughter-in-law and we shared loving Lillie, our granddaughter. She loved all of her family. Mrs. Doyle is resting in the arms of God. We love you, God is always is always with you.
Lawrence and Francis Nightingale

Fr. James J. Denn, CSC

July 23, 2020

All of the Doyle's became good friends while I lived at St. Luke's in McLean. I have a great aunt whose name was Susan Doyle. Clara was a good friend and her children played outside the rectory windows daily. I had a great phone visit with Clara about three weeks ago at the Jefferson and we talked mostly about the good times we had with
the Seniors at St. Luke and the get togethers that Terry Nelson hosted when I came to town. Clara is a living example of the mulier fortis spoken of in Scripture and I treasure our fiendship which will continue in Christ for eternity. I assure her children and their families of my mypathy and prayers. Peace, Jim Denn, CSC

Carolyn Wasaff

July 23, 2020

Clara and I were friends from the water aerobics class at Spring Hill Rec Center. I enjoyed getting to know her and we had great conversations about everything. She told me about her big family and of course, we talked about Notre Dame since my husband had gone there. She was such a warm and sweet lady and what a pleasure to have made her acquaintance. I will miss her as well as the other ladies in the class. I know how much she will be missed by her family and my deepest sympathy to all.
God bless her and may she rest in peace.

Marsha Morrow

July 21, 2020

I met Clara when we were both doing water aerobics. She became a good friend with whom I shared many good times and wonderful conversations. She was truly a wonderful person and I will miss her very much.

Clara, thank you for being my friend. May you rest in peace and may your memory be eternal.

Jo Ann Kelleher

July 20, 2020

A woman small in physical stature, but huge in all things good.

Mary Atwell

July 20, 2020

All my love and condolences to Clara’s family. Clara was one of the kindest and most loving and loved woman that I have ever had the privilege to call my friend . May she live in everlasting peace beside her Lord. With much love Mary Atwell