• Levine Chapels
    Brookline, MA
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Dr. Joel J. Alpert 1930 - 2013
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Sunday, April 06, 2014
I apologize for the late entry. I only just discovered the news about Dr. Alpert. I was his "assistant" (my word - his word was "secretary") for about 4 years at BUMC/BCH. He was always bursting with an impressive amount of energy (hard to keep up with!). He deeply cared about his work and was a generous man. I feel lucky to have known and worked with him, and to have had to chance to get to know Barbara and members of his family. One of my favorite memories is going to his lake house in Maine. I still have the carpetbag he gave me on that trip, and think of him every time I use it. Barbara, I hope you are doing well now and are able to live with many fond memories of a great man.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
I was so saddened to learn of the death of this great pediatrician. I saw Joel at the AAP NCE and he was as vibrant as ever! What a loss to pediatricians and children everywhere. My deepest sympathies to his family.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
It is easy for me to remember my first interaction with Joel Alpert. During my year as President of the American Medical Student Association I had heard many things about him from our sources on Capitol Hill and in the various federal agencies with which we worked. They described his energy, his innovations in pediatrics and pediatric education and, most importantly, his passion regarding access to healthcare for poor children. After all of the good things I had heard, I couldn't wait to meet him. From practically the first minute of his session with a group of us applying for a residency position at Boston City Hospital (BCH), he announced that it was outrageous that the US did not yet have a national health program to provide health care for all. And off we went!

Ultimately I did my training at BCH during the last years of Dr. Alpert's time as Chair of the Pediatrics Department. On top of the practice of pediatrics ("Don't forget to percuss the chest!"), we were taught that advocacy -- at the individual, local, state and national levels -- was essential to addressing the varied issues faced by our patients. Conferences were not only a time to share clinical and research information, but also a time to hear legislative updates as well.

I feel thankful for Joel's consistent mentorship, opinionated politics, passionate advocacy and playful sense of humor. He took me under his wing and helped me with my first research efforts. He was a giant in the field and an inspiration for so many of us.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thank you to Norm Alpert for clarifying on the office in Arlington -- my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dear father. He was loved by many and will be in the hearts of so many adults who appreciated his kindness when they were children.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Dear Barbara,
I was deeply saddened to hear of our loss. My condolences to you and all of the family.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Sorry to hear of the loss of one of our dearest customer.
From Stan's Men Salon.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Dear Barbara and Family,
We were saddened to hear of Dr. Alpert's passing. We have fond memories of your family at our gatherings in Winchester.. May his memory be eternal.

With deepest sympathy.

Your neighbors,
Custer Rockas
Dianne Rockas Leary
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
We were so sorry to learn of Joel's untimely passing. We so enjoyed getting to know you both in Parsonsfield and Ann so admired Joel's outstanding advocacy for kids during his tenure at the AAP. He will be missed but always remembered.
Ann Stark and Peter Kadetsky
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
To Norm, Barbara, and the extended Alpert family, we are so sorry for the passing of Joel. But, we're also happy for you to have lived in the presence of this remarkable man. We met Joel shortly after Norm and I met now 30 years ago. Since then, we've been connected each year as he would send us a handwritten note reminding us to support Children of the City. But, since we shared similar public policy affinities, his main purpose of the note was to summarize briefly what went right and what went wrong with the policy makers each year. We didn't always get it right. He was ahead of his time in understanding the current crisis in health care policy. Most importantly, by all I read, and know as well from Norm, he had great capacity for compassion for those less fortunate. He left the world a better place.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Dear Alpert Family,

We were so sorry to hear that Dr. Alpert had passed away. He was the Pediatrician for our four children beginning in 1967. We knew at once we were dealing with someone special when Dr. Alpert made a house call to our Winchester home to prevent the hospitalization of our son. He made a major impact on our family and we were always impressed with his dedication to his profession.
I attended the service yesterday and it was a wonderful tribute to a great man.

The Kelley Family
Needham MA
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
To the Alpert Family. Dr. Alpert and your family are in my prayers. I cannot thank him enough for his dedication to new faculty and staff at Boston Medical Center. He impacted so many lives in the medical field and was so passionate about the life of the underserved populations. Thank you for caring! Carine
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Joel was first a teacher and professional guide, who subsequently became a close friend, always concerned about Israel and our personal welfare. Sadly we did not connect over the last few years, except by mail updates.
He was a special person, a human dynamo, and a special friend.
Will be sorely missed by us

Basil and Noga Porter
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
I am so sad to hear Dr. Alpert passed away. He was my Dr. as a child thru my youth. He came to our home on house calls whenever we were sick. When I had a child. I located DR. Alpert and asked for his help when my son was sick. He took time out of his very busy schedule an made time to see us at his office. I was 30 years old at the time and it was wonderful to see him after so many years. He hadn't changed at all. I trusted him as a child and as an adult. He will be truly missed. I don't know if we will ever see a Dr. practice like he did. God bless his family. He will be truly missed.
Monday, January 06, 2014
We were so sorry to read that Joel had died. We always admired him as a doctor, father, husband, friend, and as a real mensch. It was a privilege to work with him on Springboard. It is too bad we all lost touch these past few years, but our thoughts are with you at this time. Love to all in the family.
Alma and Elliot Ring Concord, Ma.
Monday, January 06, 2014
To the Alpert family
I started my nursing career at the then Boston City Hospital and was amazed at the dedication of the entire pediatric department and came to soon realize that it was becasuse of Dr Alpert and his committment to the children of Boston. His career was remarkable and he left his mark on pediatrics . My condolences to the family
Linda G
Monday, January 06, 2014
Dear Barbara and Family,

I am so sorry to hear of Joel's death. He was one hell of a guy, in so many ways. One of my favorite Joel stories is from the year I was chief resident and we were hosting the medical students who were interviewing for our residency program in Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital ("the real St. Elsewhere"). Joel introduced himself, saying "My name is Dr. Joel Alpert." I teased him, saying, Joel, your NAME is not Doctor! Your mom did not call you doctor in the delivery room! His response, without missing a beat, was "you didn't know my mother." Joel's legacy is felt in every neighborhood health center in Boston, where so many of us practice the kind of medicine Joel professed. He lives on in the city of Boston, for sure. You have my most profound sympathy.
Monday, January 06, 2014
To the Alpert family,

We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Dr Alpert. We was an incredible person that contributed in many ways, was very proud of his family and will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Monday, January 06, 2014
To the Alpert Family
My heart goes out to you in this time of sadness. Dr. Alpert was an amazing man- an outstanding physician, a mentor to hundereds in the field and a wise and honest beacon to all. This morning I must miss his service as I am in clinic but every heart I listen to, every liver edge I look for, I will know that Dr. Alpert's imparted knowledge is working through my, and the hands of all the clinicians he impacted. Peace to all of you!
Marilyn Augustyn
Sunday, January 05, 2014
To The Alpert Family
My Family and I are grateful to Dr. Alpert.
He saved my life as a premie in 1956
Boston Children's Hospital
Our deepest Sympathy
Mary Ann Clemens
Billerica , MA
Sunday, January 05, 2014
All the telltales of a life very well lived are plain to see: a truly loving and cohesive family, passionate lifelong friendships and all the rewards and pleasures of a sincere lifetime commitment to making the world a better place. This is how we remember Joel Alpert and how he touched our lives.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Our deepest condolences to Barbara and the Alpert family. Michael had the good fortune to be recruited by Joel to come to Boston City Hospital in 1982. Both Barbara and Joel welcomed us to the Pediatric Department, and over the past 30 years, we both appreciated their support, advice and friendship. In particular, Joel was instrumental in launching Michael's research career and helping him to obtain his first grant funding. Even as recently as last year, Joel provided advice to our son who is now a first year medical student. We will greatly miss him.

Michael Corwin and Melanie Kim
Sunday, January 05, 2014
My heart goes out to all the Alpert family on the loss of Joel. He was a gem of a person and a super gentleman.
Phyllis L. Bakerp
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Dear Barbara, Norm, Jane, Debbie,, Mark and all the Alperts:

We were so saddened to learn of Joel's passing and our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We've never known anyone like Joel.

After meeting and befriending Norm at Manny Hanny in 1980, several of us were invited up to Maine for a summer weekend. Upon arrival, we quickly entered the world of Dr. A. Enthusiastic, loud, happy, opinionated, brutally honest and, most of all, full of love...for his family, for his friends and for life. He put us to work on a variety of projects...chopping wood, moving rocks,, etc...he dominated a lot of the conversations, and he said things that surely embarrassed one and all (including a memorable encounter with Hope on the tennis court in which the word "gal" may have been used too liberally). And none of us would have wanted it any other way. He will be sorely missed.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
I am deeply sorry to hear that Joel has passed on, and send my best wishes to his Barbara and his family.
Joel was a wonderful person who I was fortunate to work with - he was deeply committed to improving child health nationally, and on a local level, to the education of BU medical students. Some of my favorite moments as a BU faculty member were discussing students with Joel, and benefiting from his wise advice. An opinionated fellow who was a remarkably insightful straight-shooter, I am really going to miss Joel.
Sunday, January 05, 2014
My deepest sympathies to Barbara and family. Nancy and I have missed seeing you over the years as we had great times growing up in Bexley. Love Terry Meyer
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Our thoughts & prayers are with you & Jane, Barbara, and your entire family. We were quite saddened to learn of Joel's passing. What an amazing guy!
Each time we met Joel--late '70s at Brown, Boston get-togethers, Red Sox games, your wedding, your kids Bar/Bat Mitvahs, he always left an enormous impression on us.
Joel has been in an incredible role model to all of us.

Phyllis & Adam
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Just catching up after spending the holidays with my children and grandchildren and very sad to learn of Joel's death. He was my Vice President. His election frightened me. How could I lead someone who was an icon in pediatrics, whose writings enlightened and informed me about primary care and the care of children, a physician who was in many ways my idol? Joel made it easy with sage, but quiet advice, wit, humor, and an occasional good natured scolding. He often said that we agreed on almost everything child related, and we did. Where we differed Joel was one of the few with whom I could discuss those differences intellectually, rationally, and have the discussion end with a hug or handshake from him. He was a gentleman and a gentle man who had my respect to start but kept “earning” it over and over again.

Our last, lengthy, discussion was through dinner at the Orlando NCE this past October. It was mostly light and lively, rarely loud, and occasionally, as expected, profoundly meaningful to me. He never gave hint of his illness and I suspected it not. Who will I “debate” with now? Joel Alpert you'll be missed, by the AAP, by pediatricians, by your friends, by children, and by me. Barbara - my heart goes out to you and the family.May you find peace in the fine and fond memories we all have of him. Joel - Bon Voyage!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Dear Barbara and family,
It is with great sadness to hear about Joel's passing. Jane and I see both you and Joel as great friends. We remember all those AAP meetings, but especially remember our visit to your Maine home with our family. You and Joel treated us like we were family and we will always remember that very special time.

Joel will be remembered for a long time and you as well by your wonderful family, all the pediatricians he has trained and patients that he has touched.

Joel was the number one advocate for universal access to care for all and one way that everyone who knew him and you is to keep that goal front and center for all of us.

Barbara blessings on you and your family during this time of loss.

Tom and Jane Tonniges
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Someone sent me this quote after my fathers passing that brought me some comfort and I hope it does the same for all of you.

"Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are."

My thoughts and heart are with you all.

~ Staci
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Dearest Joel,

It is so hard to believe you are gone.
You have been such an integral part of our lives for so long -
often times like
a loving father and grandfather,
a good friend,
a caring mentor,
a demanding boss,
a know-it-all curmudgeon.

We will miss you.
We will miss your naked body coming out of the water on mornings at Long Pond.
We will miss your checking the soles of our sneakers before we can step onto the tennis court.
We will miss your special rendition of The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
We will miss your standing over the lobster pot in Maine. (And now who will eat all of the bodies?)
We will miss going with you again and again to Hill Road in London.
We will miss your calls to the concierge services of the London Cohen Hotel.
We will miss your loud, enthusiastic cheers over another Red Sox win (NOT really).
We will miss gloating over yet another Harvard victory over Yale.

We will miss
your passion for your work and your causes,
your loud cheers for your teams,
your strong, opinionated arguments,
your laughter and your love.

We will miss you, but we will never forget you.
We will always be thankful for having you in our lives and forever grateful to you and Buddy for bringing together multiple generations of Alperts and Cohens.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Learning of Dr. Joel's passing on the eve of the New Year made the switch to 2014 a somber one. But when considering the enthusiam and love that he brought to his family, friends, profession and the world as a whole, his life is to be celebrated. Thinking of the days when he would wake up to see all of Norm's friends stretched out on any couch, cushion or other horizontal space in Boston or Kezar Falls. Tolerance would have been a feat in and of itself, but his smile and kind words were always a given.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Hold on to all of your good memories. They will help to comfort you.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
I offer my deepest sympathies, may your memories continue to bring you comfort, and always remember "God is our refuge and strength." -Psalms 46
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Dear Barbara and family,
How sorry we are to hear of Joel's passing.
We knew we was a wonderful doctor, but we had no idea how much he was able to accomplish throughout his life. His was a life well-lived indeed.
We do know that Joel was for many years the doctor on call at the boys camp across the Pond, and he also, on more than one occasion, and while on his summer vacation, took the time to to advise and care for one or another of our grandchildren when they became ill.
But that was not all. Joel was the inspiration and guide that led to the Long Pond Association, which now monitors our lake and keeps it healthy and free from invasive species.
We are grateful for his leadership.
We extend to you our heartfelt sympathy.
Duncan and Dorothy Aspinwall
Falmouth, Massachusetts
East Parsonsfield, Maine
Saturday, January 04, 2014
So sorry to hear about Dr. Alpert's passing. He was, is, and always will be a Long Pond legend. He was a great neighbor, resource, helper, and friend to West End House Camp. I send his family my most sincere condolences. What a special man!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
I offer my deepest sympathies, may your memories continue to bring you comfort, and always remember "God is our refuge and strength." -Psalms 46
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Message to Mrs. Colman, you have the right Dr. Alpert. He never had an "official" practice in Arlington because he was working at Children's Hospital in the 1960s. But he did see patients either as a covering physician or the small group he did have at the office of Dr. Otto Nau which I think was in Arlington. I recall that we would would sit in the car with my Mom at night outside Dr.Nau's office waiting to pick him up.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
In 1972 I chaired the committee to choose the new Professor and Chief of Pediatrics for the BU School of Medicine. Since Joel and Barbara were already good friends I probably had a conflict-of-interest but it was clear that Joel was the outstanding candidate and we hoped that he would accept the position. Of course my wife Irma and I already knew what a terrific clinician he was because he was our go to guy when we really wanted to know what was wrong when our children were ill. However Joel the academician was special because he recognized long before his pediatric colleagues that primary care was key. I clearly remember one night when we visited him at his Winchester home to urge him to agree and I told him "it is the opportunity of a lifetime". During the first years at BU and the the Boston City Hospital (as it was then known), when things were a little rocky (as they not infrequently were) he'd smile and repeat that phrase back to me with a touch of irony. However, when you consider what he accomplished and contributed during the decades that he devoted to these institutions he indeed made it "the opportunity of a lifetime". He became a star, and like a star, his light will not be extinguished.
Simmons Lessell
Friday, January 03, 2014
Thank you for your service.
Friday, January 03, 2014
It is so hard to believe that Joel will no longer be with us to constantly remind us what is really important in pediatrics- advocating for children. While Joel's many accomplishments and leadership contributions to pediatrics will long be remembered, I will think of Joel as our collective conscience reminding us to always put the needs of children first. Joel was my mentor, colleague, and close friend. I will miss our sparring over the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I will miss our many political conversations, both in person and by phone. I will miss your contagious enthusiasm, your pit bull perseverance, your sharp intellect, and most of all your loyal friendship. Barbara, Elaine and I can't attend Joel's funeral but we want you and the family to know how much we loved Joel and that our love will be with you on Monday. Steve and Elaine Berman
Friday, January 03, 2014
It was such an honor to know and work with Joel. He was one of the great pediatricians of our time. A source of inspiration and a model for so many who want to improve the lives of children through hard work, creative thinking, and determination. I am so sorry for your loss but so grateful to have know and worked with Joel.
Friday, January 03, 2014
Norm - a man's legacy shows us much about who he was in life. Your father leaves a huge legacy, not the least, in having such a wonderful son. My condolences to you and your entire family on your grievous loss.
Friday, January 03, 2014
To many people, he was Dr.Alpert, but to us, he was Papa Joel, my sister's father in law and a loving and deeply involved grandparent to his 8 beautiful grandchildren. A man of many interests, talents, passions and experiences,
he modeled hard work and hard play. Joel and Barbara treated Larry and I to a fun-filled weekend at Camp Alpert, complete with lobster, outings for ice cream, a lakeside hike , dinner on the deck and a boat ride. We will never forget him and we are so sorry your loss. Love, Larry, Nancy,Joe and Ethan
Friday, January 03, 2014
Note to Mrs. Colman, you've got the right Dr. Alpert although he didn't have a full time practice in Arlington. He would practice part time and cover for the practice of Dr. Otto Nau. I recall as a child waiting in the car with my mother, brother and sister outside Dr. Nau's office for my father to come out after seeing patients. It always seemed to be dark. He did this on the side after a long day at the hospital.
Friday, January 03, 2014
Sorry for your loss. An amazing person. And my mom was in the class of 1948 too, Verna Brodsky....
Friday, January 03, 2014
Ode to Joel Alpert

I wanted the sun to stand still.
I wanted the Earth to stop spinning.
I wanted the night to never come.
I wanted some recognition that my good friend Joel had passed.

No more Internship war reminiscences
No more grape stories.
No more election eve parties.
No more Chinese food at Water Lilies.
No more grand rounds and Alumni lunches.
No more catching up after long absences.
Comparing financial updates.
Pushing for better childrens's health care.
Just shooting the breeze with our wives.
Just being great friends after 57 years.

But, alas, the Earth went on spinning.
The sun set in the west.
And the night followed the day.
But it will never be the same.
Friday, January 03, 2014
may you be filled with lots of loving memories and may the god of love and peace be with you.( 11:28 )
Friday, January 03, 2014
We were blessed to get to know Joel over the years through Jane and Norman. Whether on trips to Maine for camp visiting day, staying at Camp Alpert or seeing them at a family event or in Florida we could always count on Joel's bright smile, his wit, his opinion and the sincere question about how everyone in our family was doing. We see Joel's spirit in his grandchildren and know his legacy will be passed along to future generations. We will miss his laugh, his joy in the small things like setting up the gas burner to boil water for the lobsters, eating twice-baked potatoes and lobster, skinny dipping in the morning, hitting a great golf shot and most importantly, seeing him enjoy time with his wonderful family. Thank you for your generosity and legacy.
Friday, January 03, 2014
Friday, January 03, 2014
Dear Barbara and family, I am so sad to learn of the passing of the love of your life. Joel and my late husband, Morton, grew up together in New Haven, went on to Yale together and we all shared many memories over the years. My heartfelt sympathy to you all at this sad and difficult time. Love, Arlene Weyler
Friday, January 03, 2014
My condolences to the friends and family as you mourn your loss. May you draw close to the hearer of prayer during this difficult time. Psalm 65:2
Friday, January 03, 2014
To the entire Alpert Family, My thoughts are with you at this time. Given how much your husband/dad/grandfather accomplished you must be so proud. And even more, he was a terrific person in your life. I am sure you have fabulous memories. They will always be with you.

Mary Wiener
Friday, January 03, 2014
I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Alpert for the past 31 years. Not only was Joel a true legend in the Pediatric field, he took the time to get to know all of his staff and always asked about them and their families. I was lucky to have spoken with him up until just a month before he passed and even then, he managed to find some humor as we chatted. My thoughts and prayers go out to his whole family, but especially to his life partner, Barbara, who was always by his side. He will be sadly missed.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Joel was a passionate, tireless and fearless advocate for children - in essence the consummate physician advocate and a exemplary model for those of us who regarded him as both our colleague and teacher. He leaves an irreplacable legacy.
Myron Genel, MD
New Haven, CT
Thursday, January 02, 2014
The good Dr. Alpert, as he was known to me all these years since Norm and I were roommates back at Brown was, simply put, a lion of a man. He was tireless and dedicated in the pursuit of better health care for all, and his many achievements and honors speak for themselves. Despite his lofty professional stature, he always found a way not to take life too seriously and could be quite the character. His love for family and friends was intense and heartfelt. My fervent prayers go out to the entire Alpert family. Take comfort in all Dr. Alpert did to make the world a better place and pride in the legacy that he leaves in his children and grandchildren.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Barbara & Arnold Schindler will remember Our golf outings together in Palm Beach gardens..
Arnold. I enjoyed sharing our many golf cart experiences. As Joel continued to improve and added length to his game
Barbara. I had a great time playing last years couples game with Joel. We drove together and a wonderful time as partners.

Arnie & I will miss his humor and stories. We are happy to have known him

.the Schindlers
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Dear Barbara
Alan and I were so sorry to hear about Joel's recent leukemia diagnosis. Alan saw Steve on Monday and he said that he wasn't doing well, but we were shocked and saddened when April called to tell us that he had passed away. Please know that our thoughts are with you and your family during this time of grief and sorrow.
Fondly, Eleanor and Alan
Thursday, January 02, 2014
My family all benefitted from the care of Dr. Alpert. We were born in 1963, 64, 65, and 66 and he would come to our house and give innoculations if one became sick so the rest wouldn't. My mother will be saddened to hear this news and held Dr. Alpert in very high esteem. He was a great Doctor.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
I first met Joel at the Pediatric Department Chairs meeting more than 40 years ago. He has been a tireless leader in Child Health for many decades, and a gentle and thoughtful man who we will all miss greatly. Joel, rest in peace.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
I don't see mention of his practice in Arlington, MA during the 1960's? Is this the same doctor. He was a caring person who came to our house when needed. Definitely a different era of doctor. My condolences.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Shalom to Dr. Alpert's family.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Dr. Alpert was a beacon of hope for the voices that had no say. But he was also a beacon of hope for my family for many, many years. He unselfishly gave of his time, no matter what time of the day or night, to be there in our time of need. His soul may have gone to a better place, but he will never be forgotten. His legacy will live on in his children and grandchildren. I was honored to call you my friend, Dr. Alpert. (Red Sox, the tall blue building, Long Pond, New Year's Eves, advisor, friend) Rest in peace Dr. Alpert. This land has lost a great man!
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