OBIT: Dr. John Spillane, Worked at McLean Hospital, Sang in Choirs at Churches in Watertown & Newton

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Dr. John Spillane

Dr. John Joseph Brendan “Jack” Spillane, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died Thursday, January 13th at his home in Watertown. 

He was the devoted husband of Michaela K. (Sheehan) Spillane.  Loving father of Mary T. Spillane of Watertown, Melissa A. Gnyp & her husband David of Charlotte, NC, and Stephanie M. Spillane of Watertown. Doting grandfather of Annabelle Spillane and Madeleine Gnyp.  Son of the late Paul and Theresa (Curtain) Spillane and brother of the late Paul Spillane and Eleanor Roop. Caring brother- in-law of Elizabeth (Sheehan) Casey of Nashua, NH. He was also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. 

John was born in Lowell. He attended Keith Academy and was a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corp. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, and residencies in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Veterans Hospital and McLean Hospital. He was an attending physician at McLean, serving as Director of Admissions from 1978-1993.

Having majored in the history and literature of France before turning to medicine, he had a life-long interest in history and spoke French, German and Spanish. He loved music, and was a long-time member of the choirs at St. Theresa’s Church in Watertown and Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton. 

He enjoyed gardening, reading, swimming and spending time with family. Jack was a kind, loving and giving person with a ready smile for everyone.

Visiting hours will be held at MacDonald Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Home at 270 Main St., Watertown on Tuesday, January 18 from 5-8 PM.  The family intends to set aside time at 7 PM for friends and relatives who would like to speak about Jack to do so. The funeral will be held from MacDonald Rockwell & MacDonald on Wednesday at 10:30 AM followed by a Funeral Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians, 573 Washington St., Newton at 12 PM. Internment will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Lowell.

The family would like to welcome friends and relatives at the Visiting Hours and Funeral Mass.  However, we understand that some people may have concerns in regards to Covid-19 and not feel comfortable attending. We know that your thoughts will still be with us. Those who do attend are requested to wear masks at the funeral home and in the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jack’s name be made to St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. Boston MA 02116 or at

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