Dr. John P. Cocchiarella at 84

Dr. John P. Cocchiarella of Holliston, MA entered into eternal life surrounded by loved ones on Saturday May 13, 2023, at age 84.  

John was born on January 13, 1939, the beloved son of John and Jennie (Ruscitti) Cocchiarella in Milford, MA. After graduating from Milford High School in 1956, he earned a BA in biology at Clark University in 1960. He then went to Boston University Medical School and graduated with his MD degree in 1964. He completed his internship year at Rhode Island Hospital, his residency in Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital, and a then fellowship in Family Health at Boston Children’s Hospital. In 1968, he became a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve stationed in Newport, RI. It was there that he met and married the love of his life, Joan (Carey) in 1969. After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1970, John and Joan moved to Holliston. John began his practice as a community pediatrician in Milford and was on staff at Milford Regional Medical Center Hospital. After 45 years in practice caring for many children in the greater Milford area, he retired in 2015. He was a devout Catholic and faithful parishioner at St Mary’s Parish in Holliston.  

John loved his summer vacation trips to Boothbay Harbor, ME where he went with his family almost every year for over 50 years. He also always loved an ice-cold Tanqueray martini.  But most of all, he loved his family and was forever commenting that his life was truly blessed.  

He leaves behind Joan, his devoted wife of nearly 54 years who lovingly cared for him throughout his life and especially as his health declined, and four grateful children: John Charles (Robin Tomas), Andrew (Rozanna Penney), Nancy, and Susan Appleyard (David). He was a loving Papa to his eight grandchildren: Sophia, Lily, and Evelina Cocchiarella, Alexander Penney, Ella and Fiona Zonfrillo, and Maeve and Charlie Appleyard.  

Visiting hours will be held from 4pm-7pm on Thursday, May 18th at Chesmore Funeral Home in Holliston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 19th at 11am at St. Mary’s Parish in Holliston. Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery immediately following the funeral Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s memory to St. Mary’s Parish, Holliston. 


Chesmore Funeral Home