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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to John by adding your memories and photos.

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“John always greeted me warmly at church. it was always a pleasure to see him there and his wife Karen . Mywife Sally and I treasure the painting o...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Msrshall McCloskey - belmont, MA

“So sorry to hear about John . He was always a gentleman to me and may he rest in peaceSo sorry he did not get to enjoy his new home for long...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Gail Tavener - Waltham, MA

“Your Cocke cousins will especially miss you on Thanksgiving, but we are thankful for all of the times that you came down to visit us and we could get...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Maria Mitchell - Rising Fawn, GA

“He is now resting in peace ”
4 of 6 | Posted by: Lorraine Butler - Derry, NH

“To Karen my condolences. To John my Friend Rest In Peace. ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Edward Eaton - Waltham

“John was an enthusiastic member of the Singing Grandpops. He loved bringing smiles to residents of the nursing homes, senior centers and hospitals...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Tom Woodbury - Arlington, MA


John Cocke was a hoarder of people in every good sense of the meaning. He had a natural and genuine ability to engage, converse and friend many people. Friends were a lifetime relationship for him. He loved life and the people in it and remained grateful for his many friendships until his last day.

John passed away Saturday, February 20, 2021 after an illness. He was 76.

John Wilson Cocke was born October 7, 1944 in Cambridge one of two children of the late Marion and Marjorie (Eldridge) Cocke. His sister was the late Katherine Jones.

He was a graduate of Taft High School in Watertown, Connecticut with the class of 1963. He was well educated in the arts having graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with Distinction in 1969 and earned his Bachelor's degree from Tufts University in 1972 and later from the Boston Architectural Center in Boston in 1995.

He was also an accomplished and published artist with works displayed in greater Boston and the North Shore. John approached life just like painting. He drew the lines with hope…erased the errors with tolerance…dipped the brush with lots of patience…and most important he colored with love.

John held various teaching positions in Somerville, the Harvard Extension, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and as an Art Substitute Teacher for the City of Boston.

He attended the Church of Christian Science in Belmont he was an active and much respected member of the The Retired Men's Club of Arlington (RMCA) ('Singing Grandpops') group which organized itself from St. Camillus Church in Arlington.

John shared eleven wonderful years with his wife, Karen L. Matthews. He is also survived by his cousins, David J. Cocke, J. Estes Cocke, Albert K. Cocke, Maria Cocke Mitchell and Anne S. Williamson.

Family and friends will honor John's life by gathering for calling hours on Friday, March 19th from 4 to 7 pm at The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham. His Funeral service will be celebrated on Saturday morning at 10:30 am in St. Camillus Church, 1185 Concord Avenue, Arlington. Burial is private.

Those wishing to view John's Funeral Service may also do so by visiting on Saturday, March 20th at 10:30 a.m.: https://my.gather.app/remember/john-cocke

In lieu of flowers, memorials in John's name may be made to RMCA, 1175 Concord Turnpike, Arlington, MA 02476. www.rmcarlington.org

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A note from the funeral home pursuant to Governor Baker's recent order:

During times of uncertainty and crisis one might wonder what to do at the loss of a loved one or how to show support to a friend given the limitations that the pandemic continues to present.

Telephone your friend to offer words of love, support and a verbal hug, drop something delicious by the house, leave a condolence on the funeral home website, make a donation to their favored charity, send a card or flowers or have a Mass said, remain in touch, and above all else . . . say prayers for the deceased and their family and the world during this difficult and unprecedented time.

These simple gifts of sympathy and charity are more valuable than you will ever know.

When public wakes are held capacity limits mean that your visit to the venue where they are held should be brief to allow other guests time to say hello to the family. Only members of the immediate family remain present throughout.

It goes without saying that people who have lost someone are especially sensitive and understanding to the concerns that some of their own family members and friends may have about visiting any public places right now. If this does not feel like the right time for you to venture out please don't.

Space limitations also mean that funeral services inside the funeral home and in many places of worship will also be private. Most services, at the family's request, will also be livestreamed and recorded for future viewing. The link to access the channel is found at the bottom of the obituary notice online.

Cemetery services are included in the current outdoor gathering limit of twenty-five people.

During any events, public or private, common sense precautions prevail. That includes masks covering your nose and mouth, staying with your household group throughout the services and keeping a sensible distance.

Thank you . . . again . . . for your patience and understanding.