Joseph T. Doyle, 81, a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Delaware County who served as a judge on the Commonwealth Court for 21 years, has died.

Mr. Doyle was the 15th judge to serve on the seven-member panel, according to a synopsis on the court's website.

Elected in 1981, he sat on the bench until his retirement in 2002. Mr. Doyle was the court's fifth president judge from 1999 to 2002.

A graduate of LaSalle University and Villanova Law School, he was admitted to the bar in 1959. He also earned his master's of law degree from the University of Virginia in 1990, and an honorary degree of doctor of laws from Widener University in May of 2001.

In 1970, Mr. Doyle was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was reelected in 1972, 1974, and 1976, according to an online biography.

While a member of the House, he served as vice-chairman of the Law and Justice Committee; chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Sub-Committee on Courts, and as a member of the Joint State Government Commission's Task Force on the office of the elected Attorney General; a member of the Legislative Data Processing Committee, and a member of the House Democratic Caucus Policy Committee.

Mr. Doyle was first elected to the Commonwealth Court in November 1981 and took office on January 4, 1982. He was retained for a second ten-year term in November 1991 and was elected president judge of the court effective September 1, 1999.

In his role as president judge of the Commonwealth Court, he served on the Supreme Court's Judicial Council.

He was a featured speaker at the Commonwealth Court's 40th Anniversary Celebration on June 22, 2010.

Before that, he was honored by the Delaware County Bar Association for his public service and commitment to the legal profession on January 16, 2001, and also was received its lifetime achievement award.

Prior to serving on Commonwealth Court, he was the solicitor for the boroughs of Yeadon and Colwyn; for the Brookhaven Zoning Hearing Board; and special solicitor for other municipalities.

He was a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Delaware County Bar Associations, the American Judicature Society, the National Lawyers Association, and the Brehon Law Society.

At the time of his death, he was of counsel with the Media-based firm, Vincent B. Mancini and Associates; his passing leaves the firm with but five attorneys.

Mr. Doyle started there in 2009, and handled many appellate matters having to do with issues of labor, zoning and government regulations that affected a wide swath of the population, Mancini said.

In person, Mancini said, Mr. Doyle was modest, and asked that people call him, "Ted."

"He was just a really good man and great attorney and a superb judge. He was something special," said Mancini, a friend since 1978.

"Whatever he did, he did with the full intensity of advancing his client's interests. This profession will burn you, or push you to the heights, and he had a passion for it."

Services were being arranged.