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Dr. Mark Joseph Doherty of Lakeville, age 75, passed away with his devoted family by his side on October 7, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Deborah (Harley) Doherty with whom he shared 53 wonderful years of marriage.
Born in New Bedford on June 19, 1947, he was the eldest son of the late Robert and Joan Doherty of Taunton. He is survived by Deborah and his loving children and grandchildren: daughter Rachel Doherty and her husband Jarod Cowens of Bourne; son Mark E. Doherty and his wife Lori (Laliberte) of Taunton; and grandchildren Brigid, Faith, Mark, Taylor and Xander. Mark is also survived by his siblings Katherine Doherty (Jack) of Taunton, Robert Doherty Jr. (Holly) of Middletown, CT, and Christopher Doherty (Sally) of Bethesda, MD; in-laws Benjamin Harley (Marianne) of Kingston, MA; Linda Harley of Bourne; and Mark’s nieces and nephews Michael, Danielle, Julia, Cole, Jack, Conor, Meaghan, Patrick, Maddie, and Caroline.
Mark was a proud graduate of the Coyle Cassidy High School class of 1965 and went on to graduate from the College of the Holy Cross in 1970 and then received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1974. He received his Master of Public Health degree from Madison University in 2003. Mark continued to find joy in spending time catching up with his high school and college classmates.
From the very beginning of his dental career, Mark was a fierce advocate for oral health access for the underserved. In 1979 he founded Commonwealth Mobile Oral Health Services, where to this day, dental teams travel to schools in Massachusetts providing oral health services to children who may have barriers to accessing care. From 1979 to 2011 he worked at the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, first as the Director of Oral Health Services and then as the Director of Oral Health Policy. From 2005 to 2019 he worked as DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions Executive Director, where he and his team, provided training and technical assistance to oral health providers across the country. From 2019 to the present, he served as Executive Director and co-founder of D4 Practice Solutions, once again providing clients with avenues to improve access, outcomes, and quality.
Mark craved adventure to feed his competitive spirit. From an early age he challenged himself. He played multiple varsity sports in high school and college. He earned a football scholarship to Holy Cross, and he was also Captain of its lacrosse team. He was a New England Golden Gloves heavyweight boxing champion in 1970. He later took home national championship awards in both arm wrestling and jet skiing. In 1986, he authored a book entitled “Arm Wrestling for Everyone”. He enjoyed all things fitness related. At the age of 65 he decided to compete in the USA Master’s Boxing championship and became the first master boxer to capture the title in every major Master’s tournament in the U.S. In 2022, he was the subject of a Master’s Boxing short documentary titled, “The Legend of Doc”.
Mark was the recipient of many awards over the years including the College of Holy Cross Sanctae Crucis Award for Contributions to National Healthcare, the 2016 National Network for Oral Health Access President’s Award, and the 2020 Pierre Fauchard Academy’s Distinguished Service Award for the J. Murray Gavel Chapter. Mark served as a representative on numerous oral health committees over the years including the Massachusetts Dental Society where he was a Trustee. Mark was also the author or co-author of several dental health publications.
Mark will be celebrated as a loving and thoughtful man of action and accomplishment. He was a great husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend. Since 2008, he had become the patriarch of a large family of siblings, cousins, and their children. He will be missed by all.
Ahead of donations, those wishing to honor Mark’s memory might consider extending a kindness, forgiving an insult, or repairing a relationship.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank of Middleboro in Mark’s memory. https://www.svdpmiddleboro.org/donations.html
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
P.O. Box 1381
Middleboro, MA 02346