Dr. Joseph Anthony King of Westford, formerly of Needham and Gloucester


Dr. Joseph Anthony King of Westford, formerly of Needham and Gloucester, died on January 27, 2017 after a brief illness.

He was married to Mary (Crowley) King for 69 years and they would have celebrated their 70th anniversary on June 21, 2017.

Born on May 6, 1923, in N. Attleboro to Joseph and Anna King, Joseph spent his childhood in N. Attleboro. In 1940, he graduated from N. Attleboro High School. He continued his education at Harvard and graduated in 1944. He received his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1947.  He did his internship and residency at Worcester City Hospital from 1947-1949.  During World War II and the Korean War, Dr. King was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and served at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He also served at Quonset Point, R.I. and was the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S.S. Constitution.

In 1950, Dr. King opened a private general medical practice in Needham, MA where he worked for nearly 30 years. He was affiliated with the Glover Memorial Hospital (now Beth Israel – Deaconess) in Needham where he and a core group of dedicated medical professionals grew a wonderful community hospital.  He served as president of the medical staff there as well as many other roles.  He later worked as a physician at GE in Lynn, Harvard Community Health Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield.  From 1957-1992, Dr. King was a District Medical Examiner in Norfolk and Essex counties.  He served as President of the Massachusetts Medicolegal Society from 1971-1972 and President of the Charles River District Medical Society from 1977-1979.

Dr. King was a voracious reader and enjoyed tennis, sailing on the Spindrift and Harvard football.  He was a member of the Needham Pool and Racquet Club and the first commodore of the Wingaersheek Yacht Club.   Most of all, he adored his wife and his family.

In addition to his beloved wife, he leaves his children, Kathleen King Parker and her husband, Stephen of Winchester, Rosemary King of Westford, Roger King and his wife, Lucy, of Boulder, CO, Maureen King Kelly and her husband, Patrick, of Westford, Alice King O’Connor and her husband, David, of Monument, CO and Elaine King Nickerson of Westford; he also leaves Paul and Joan Crowley of Wayland, Marita Crowley of Melrose.  He was pre-deceased by his son-in-law Charles Nickerson, and by Jake Crowley, Elizabeth Howard and his brother, Jack King.  He is survived by his sister, Virginia of Port Royal, SC and his brother, Robert, of Norfolk, CT and 8 grandchildren,3 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Joseph’s name may be made to Doctors Without Borders (doctorswithoutborders.org), St. Catherine’s of Alexandria Catholic Church in Westford, MA 01886 or Friends of the JV Fletcher Library, Westford, MA

Visiting Hours at Wed. from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, MA. Funeral Thursday from the Funeral Home at 9:00 a.m. with a funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. at St. Catherine Church 107 North Main St. Westford, MA. Burial in St. Catherine Cemetery, Westford. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041.



February 1, 2017
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Dolan Funeral Home, Chelmsford, MA


February 2, 2017
10:00 AM Mass
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, 107 N Main Street, Westford, MA
  1. Linda Keefe Martin says:

    Dr king was my doctor in needham when I lived there. I have many good memories of my favorite doctor. I didn’t know he went to the same church I do as I now live in tyngsboro.

  2. Carol A. Connor says:

    I was so, so sorry to find this today. What a man! I knew him since I was 2 and that is 64 years ago. He delivered my sister, was my doctor for two major operatons, we vacationed twice in Cape Cod, saw Moby Dick at the drive-in in their big, white station wagon, and he and Mary are my brother’s godparents. We very pleasantly ran into Mary and Joe (we were told to call them this, but could not, so called them Helen and Bill) at the Lemon Tree in Vero Beach in 2011 or 2012 so picked up again. And that was wonderful. We last saw them at their joint 90th birthdays.
    My thoughts, prayers and love go out to all of you. He is a man I will never, ever forget.

    • Maureen says:

      Thank you, Carol. We know that my father loved reuniting with you a few years ago and we certainly appreciate your kind words. We will miss him forever…

  3. Mobby Brown Larson says:

    My father often spoke of Joe as his best friend. They, and both our families, shared so much over the years. He will be missed, but his spirit lives on.
    Whit, Susi, Steve and I plan to come Wednesday.

  4. David and Linda Nadolski says:


    Please accept our heartfelt condolences . We cannot think of a better role model for husband, father, grandfather, doctor and American military patriot than your father. He did it all with grace,dignity and the most profound professionalism any man could have. His outstanding family is absolute evidence of of this. Men like him are rare in this world and leave a profound legacy for the rest of us to strive to emulate. Your dad had nothing left to give and his life has set the course for many generations of King’s going forward. May he Rest In Peace which we know he will.

  5. Sue Atkinson says:

    I will always have fond memories of Dr. King as our family doctor. This was back in the day when doctors still made house calls. He was a wonderful man and a compassionate doctor. My condolences to the family.

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