Joseph A. Quinlan
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Former longtime Assistant District

Attorney Commonwealth of Mass

Joseph A. Quinlan, Esq., 61, of Swampscott, but always of Lowell, passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a brief illness.

A member of a well-known Lowell Highlands family, Joe was born in Lowell on April 6, 1958, a son of the late Thomas J. and the late Amalia (Serio) Quinlan.

He attended St. Margaret's Grammar school and was a proud graduate of Lowell High School, Class of 1976. He went on to attend U/Mass Amherst where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in both Journalism and Political Science in 1980.

Joe later went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Western New England Law School in 1988.

Professionally, he began his career as a reporter for the Associated Press. After law school, Joe became a prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he served as an Assistant District Attorney for over 28 years in Hampden, Middlesex and Worcester Counties and the Northwestern District.

Following his retirement, Joe served the State of New Hampshire as a prosecutor for both Carroll and Hillsborough Counties.

Over the course of his career, Joe received several professional awards for his accomplishments. In 2008, he was presented the William C. O'Malley Award as Prosecutor of the Years for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He received an Appreciation Recognition at the 15th Annual Massachusetts Missing Children's Day in 2015 and another Appreciation Recognition from the Greenfield, MA Police Department in 2000.

Joe was a member of several professional associations, among them, the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Bar Associations, the Mass Board of Bar Overseers Supreme Judicial Court and was a student and faculty member at the National District Attorney Association Trial Advocacy Program at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, he was a faculty member for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.

Among his many passions and interests, Joe was a photographer, specializing in black and white photography and for a time had a studio at Western Avenue in Lowell. He also enjoyed camping, gardening, running, and he ran twice in the Boston Marathon.

However, Joe's greatest joy was being a father and spending time with his children.

Joe is survived by his three children Sally, Will and Teddy Quinlan of West Boylston; his four siblings: Amalia M. Quinlan and her husband Daniel Devine of Buffalo, NY, Thomas A. Quinlan of New Bedford, Helen Q. Littlefield and her husband Robert of Lowell and Marian R. Walsh and her husband Gary of Mount Dora, FL; his fiancée, Mary Anne Lenihan of Swampscott, many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and cousins, and his godmother Marie Serio of Tonawanda, NY.


Friends may call at the O'DONNELL FUNERAL HOME, 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in LOWELL from 3 to 8 P.M. Tuesday. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass to be celebrated Wednesday morning at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH in LOWELL at 12 o'clock NOON followed by his burial at St. Patrick's Cemetery.

E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to the Jimmy Fund, c/o the Dana Farber Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., West, Boston, MA 02215. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O'Donnell, Jr. (978) 458-8768.

View the online memorial for Joseph A. Quinlan, Esq.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lowell Sun on Sep. 1, 2019.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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17 entries
September 28, 2019
I would to thank those who reached out to express their sympathy to Joe's family here on these pages. Your kind words and shared memories of our brother are much appreciated.

Helen Quinlan Littlefield
Helen Littlefield
September 7, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. I knew him at UMass Amherst in the late 70s and worked on the Collegian with him.
I was always impressed by his passion for and expertise in the news industry. Especially when he got a coveted Boston Globe summer internship!
Maria Mannix (Messitt)
September 6, 2019
My Condolences to the Joe's family and friends. We were acquaintances in High School but got to know him in College. He was a great guy, always smiling. To this day, whenever I hear the Beach Boys, I think of Joe.
Stan Fitch
September 5, 2019
Marian and Quinlan Family, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Joe. We ran track together at Lowell High and were freshman roommates at UMass Amherst. Joe was always a good friend with upstanding character. Joe's smiling face in that old gray station wagon that he drove in high school (before a lot of us had cars) is fixed in my memory. After reading about his remarkable life, I regret that we didn't reconnect in our later years. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tom Kenney
September 3, 2019
Helen, Marian & family,
I am so sorry to read about Joe's passing. He was such a nice kid growing up in our old highlands neighborhood. You are all in my thoughts & prayers.
Paula (Mulligan) Paquin
September 3, 2019
So sorry to read of Joe's passing. He was a great kid. I went to the Daley and Lowell High School with him. May he Rest in Peace. Gone much too soon.
Glenn Wallace
September 3, 2019
Dear Helen, Marion and family,

I haven't seen Joe in years but always just the best kid.

Sending healing thoughts and prayers to all of you! I am so very sorry.
Kate Gill
September 3, 2019
To Marion and The Ouinlan Family,
Deepest Sympathy to you in the loss of your Father/Brother. May he Rest in Eternal Peace, May your memories carry you through the trying days ahead.
Fondly, Maryjo Finn-Ryan , Larry Finn, and the Finn Family.
Maryjo Finn-Ryan
September 3, 2019
Helen and Marion so sorry to read about Joe's death. I remember you all from growing up in the highlands. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Karen (Mulligan) Dow
September 3, 2019
To the Quinlan family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Joe was always kind and helpful. An inspirational person. I will keep you in my prayers.
Paul Healy
September 3, 2019

September 3, 2019
Dear Helen,
Our deepest sympathy on hearing of the passing of your brother Joe. He always had a smile and good word for all.
Sincerely ,
Bill and Maryanne Kulis
Falmouth MA.
William Kulis
September 1, 2019
My condolences to Joe's family. We went to Lowell High School together; he was the most wonderfully warm and generous of friends. We had a Reunion dinner two summers ago. Despite all of life's vicissitudes, he remained an open-hearted person of genuine kindness.
Jack Thomas
September 1, 2019
To Joe's Family and Friends:

Please accept my deepest sympathies. I had the great pleasure of working with Joe in the DA's office early in our legal careers and then running into him decades later in Worcester. He was just one of this great people we get to met during our lives.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan
September 1, 2019
I knew Joe from his time in Springfield court.A nice guy.
August 31, 2019
Exquisite Tribute Standing Spray
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Joseph Pieropan
August 31, 2019
Joe's big smile and big heart made our world smaller.
Ian Polumbaum
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