Joseph L. Cohen, MD

August 25, 1933 ~ January 8, 2022 (age 88)

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Joseph Lawrence Cohen M.D. of Beverly, MA, passed away at his home on January 8, 2022, at the age of 88.  Born in Worcester, MA to David B. and Sylvia (Magaziner) Cohen, Joe graduated from Brandeis University and then Tufts University School of Medicine in 1959.  Joe leaves behind an enormous legacy both professionally and in his adoring family.


His professional career began with residencies at Los Angeles County Hospital and the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital where he worked from the early 1960’s until he retired after 48 years of service.  He was a skilled and compassionate oncologist, medical researcher, and held numerous leadership positions at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital including serving for 33 years as the Medical Director.  Additionally, he served as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.  He helped launch several groundbreaking programs including Boston Health Care for the Homeless and the first inpatient HIV/AIDS unit in New England at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital.  Joe was known for his ability to bridge the public and private sectors, building partnerships that ensured the best care was available to patients with the most challenging circumstances, including homelessness, tuberculosis, incarceration, and psychiatric diagnoses.  Joe’s leadership ensured these patients had a one-stop facility that could address their complex needs.  Joe was a humble and effective fighter, tenacious when necessary, for those who needed it most; often leaving those who worked around him awed by his grit, commitment, and desire to always figure out a way to do the right thing for the patients he loved.


Over his tenure, Joe was awarded many awards, most notably as a recipient of the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service.


Joe’s professional life was complemented by a very fulfilling personal life.  He enjoyed time with his family, relaxing at his lake house in New Hampshire, working on various handyman projects, traveling, listening to classical music, cooking and, in earlier days, running, bicycling, sailing, and skiing.  More than anything, he adored his wife (Freddy) of 63+ years and was always her partner and best friend.  Every family member had a special bond with Joe, from each of his kids, to his siblings, to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Any person who knew Joe was better for it.


He is survived by his devoted wife, Frieda Kala Cohen formerly of Brookline, MA and four sons, Stephen Cohen (Martha) of East Haddam, CT, Mitchell Cohen (Betty) of Foster City, CA, Ian Cohen (Jennifer) of Beverly, MA and Colin Cohen (Jennifer) of Annapolis, MD. He is also survived by eight grandchildren:  Jennifer (Dan), Anthony, Christopher, Phillip, Brandon, Grace, Ella, and Graham as well as 2 great-grandchildren, Kayla and Eliot, and his brother Fred and wife Sorrell, and sister Judy Oehler and husband Larry.  He is pre-deceased by his parents, David B. Cohen and Sylvia Cohen (Magaziner), stepmother Jean Cohen and stepsister Mimi Plastrik.


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to any of the below-mentioned organizations: see links below:

Shattuck Partners, Alzheimer's Association, and the American Cancer Society.


To send flowers to Joseph's family, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced

Please note
Facial Coverings Required-


Alzheimer's Association

American Cancer Society
3 Speen St, Framingham MA 01701
Tel: 1-800-227-2345

Shattuck Partners Inc:

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