JA Snow Funeral Home

339 Lacewood Drive, Halifax, NS


Joseph Michael Dooley

October 8, 1950February 1, 2020

It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Joseph Michael Dooley MB, BCh, BAO, FRCPC. Joe passed away peacefully surrounded by his devoted family after a heartbreaking and brief illness, on February 1, 2020, in the VG Site, QEII in Halifax. Born in Dublin, Ireland on October 8, 1950, he was predeceased by his parents Pierce and Helen Dooley (née Quinn), and his infant daughter Fiona. Joe is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth (née McCarthy); his adoring children, Conor (Diana), Jessica (Jim) and Garrett (Ashley); grandchildren, Liam, Sophia and Aidan, who were the joys of his life; his sister and brother, Patricia (Larry) and Paul (Valerie), along with his nieces, nephews and extended family to whom he brought great delight.

Joe grew up in Dublin where he attended Belvedere College. Joe and Elizabeth met on New Year's Eve 50 years ago, December 31, 1969, and were married on December 18, 1974 while Joe was attending University College Dublin where he graduated with a medical degree in 1975. After graduation, a happy turn of fate brought Joe and Elizabeth to Toronto in 1976 where he completed his residency in Pediatric Neurology at the Hospital for Sick Children. Following a year as a research fellow at the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, Joe and Elizabeth settled their young family in Halifax in 1982 where he practiced as a Pediatric Neurologist at the Izaak Walton Killam Hos pital for Children (the IWK Health Centre) and taught at the medical school at Dalhousie University for 37 years, until his retirement. Joe was the head of the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the IWK Health Centre for more than 15 years. He truly cared for and loved seeing the many children in his practice and took immense satisfaction in helping infants and children from all over the Maritimes.

Joe will be remembered for his warmth, quick wit, wonderful humour and his entertaining storytelling. He was a man of many talents. A natural athlete, he played rugby and soccer competitively throughout his school years and continued playing soccer for many years after. In later years, as his children grew up, he was able to spend more time with friends and family playing golf, another game he loved. Joe was a talented and enthusiastic musician and spent many happy even-ings rehearsing and performing with his band, Dicey Reilly. Joe will be dearly missed by his loving family, friends and colleagues.

Our family would like to thank the dedicated doctors and nurses who cared for Joe over his last difficult month, including the Cardiovascular Surgery and Oncology teams at the New Halifax Infirmary and the caring staff on the Palliative Care ward at the VG Site.

A visitation will be held in J.A. Snow Funeral Home (339 Lacewood Dr., Halifax, NS) from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, February 7th. Please join us in a celebration of Joe's life at Ashburn Golf Club (3250 Joseph Howe Dr., Halifax, NS) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 8th.

For those who wish, and in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Joe to the IWK Health Centre Foundation would be sincerely appreciated by Joe and his family.


  • Visitation Friday, February 7, 2020
  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 8, 2020


Joseph Michael Dooley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Hilary Writer

February 21, 2020

Dr Dooley taught me so much about what it truly means to be a physician; to be compassionate, empathetic, dedicated, scholarly, knowledgeable, and professional. His clinical skills were legendary; to this day I perform neurological exams in the way in which he taught me. He was a great role model of humanity, humility, and humour. If I could be half the clinician, physician, and person he was I would consider it a great achievement.
Hilary Writer MD FRCPC. Pediatric Critical Care, Ottawa

Flo Landry

February 11, 2020

This was a truly great man, his devotion to his families he cared for was a rare find. I was so fortunate to have Joe as my daughter Sara’s neurologist for 21 years but more importantly a friend. During this time he would be there at the end of phone when I needed him. He would ensure that we had everything we needed during Sara’s 100 ICU visits and on many occasion he would bring in a coffee or give a drive home.
He was also so humble but in fact he was a brilliant and amazing Dr but there was no ego with Joe he would admit when he didn’t know something or have the solution. When your a parent with a child with a very complex medical condition yes you want answers but Joe would say I honest to God just don’t know. He would always leave decisions to the families by saying “if she was my child”.
I feel so privilege that I was given the opportunity to see and enjoy his company outside the hospital setting. Watching him perform with his band Dicey Riley gave me the opportunity to see the truly fun and talented side of Joe. As Sara aged out to the adult side of care I knew there would never be another Joe Dooley ever in our life. He was one in million, I hope everyone who he has taught guided and mentor can take a piece of Joe’s kindness and spread it to others.
I cannot imagine what and Elizabeth, Connor, Jessica and Garret and all of Joes family are feeling but I truly hope that they can feel the love and support we send them and they know what an amazing man he was. It does not seem right or fair to say “was “ Joe was one of those amazing people you wanted and needed to live forever.
Your kindness will be a guide for all of do better, appreciate each other and let everyone know how important they are.
Thank you Joe Dooley

Christine Parsons

February 11, 2020

I just wanted to send my condolence. My daughter had Dr Dooley from one and a half years old until she transitioned to the adult hospital about two years ago. He always had a smile on his face and made her visits happy ones. After her appointment they would walk hand in hand to the tim hortons for a treat and later he would push her in her wheelchair when she started needing to use it full time. We also have the little penguin finger puppet he gave her when she was about five years old.

Peter Bartlett

February 11, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Dooley's passing, and sad that I didn't hear in time to attend his remembrance.

I have two children with epilepsy, both diagnosed by Dr. Dooley. The older one went to his first appointment as an angry, surly 14YO, basically blaming the messenger for his condition. But Dr. Dooley stayed calm and friendly, and by the end of the second appointment a few weeks later, my son came out smiling and laughing as if they'd been friends for years.

He had a wonderful rapport both with his young patients, and with their scared parents. Though I knew him only through the appointments with my kids I came to know him as a kind and friendly soul with a great sense of humour.

Rest In Peace Dr. Dooley.

Steve Sutherland

February 9, 2020

I had the great pleasure of spending some fun moments with Joe golfing at Ashburn. His jokes were always delivered with his art of story telling that even now makes me smile knowing that his spirit will always walk the course. I know he will be missed greatly but I’m sure he made so many lives better for those he touched, helped and inspired.

Sara Sullivan

February 8, 2020

Dr Dooley will be greatly missed by the staff at the IWK. He always made me smile when I saw him. He was always approachable and kind. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all those whose lives he touched. I will remember him fondly.

Donna & Eric George

February 8, 2020

We met Dr. Dooley after our daughter was born at the IWK Grace. Our daughter was born with a rare condition, that should have held limitations to her ability to do things, but Joe never gave into the textbooks of her diagnosis, and he never allowed us to either. We saw him for 16 years, on a continuous basis. We shared laughs, tears, fears, and a ton of wonderful memories of him with our daughter. We have lots of videos of Joe with Shaneika, and a ton of pictures. One of our most wonderful memories is when Shaneika walked into his office walking completely on her own...the team was there videotaping for a IWK Telethon story. Joe got down on his knees, tears streaming from his eyes, saying " I always knew our little angel would walk." Because of Joe, and who he was with his patients and families, we didn't put limitations on Shaneika. We followed his lead, and allowed her to make her mark in life, all on her own. Shaneika is now 25 years old, and living a normal, healthy life.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with so many people. We have always had such love, respect, and a tender spot in our hearts for a man who gave us a wide open book for our daughter to fill up on her own.
We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers, and we will never forget the wonderful, Dr. Joe Dooley.

Lynn Belliveau

February 8, 2020

We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Dooley. We were heartbroken to hear of his passing. We met him in 2001 when he gave us the worst news that a parent can receive about their children. Both our daughters were diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 3. There is no way we would of been able to get through this without him. He is the most caring, sincere doctor that we’ve ever had the privilege to meet. I’ve never had a doctor who would personally call me to answer any questions I had about SMA. He had told me to call him instead of looking on the internet for information . He’ll never know how much that meant to me. Our girls are both currently at university and one has even moved away from home to a university 2 hours away. I know he would be so proud of them. Until we meet again! RIP Dr. Dooley you will be dearly missed!
The Belliveau family,
Marc, Lynn, Alyssa & Renelle

Allan Purdy

February 8, 2020

Our deepest sympathy and condolences on hearing of Joe's passing. He was a great physician and took great care of those under his care. He was a gifted teacher and speaker. He dedicated his career to his neurological specialty, and his life to his family, He will be missed, but not forgotten, by his friends and many colleagues. Joe, as they say, was a 'good man'.

Allan and Pam Purdy, Halifax

Keely & Natasha Pettigrew

February 7, 2020

Sorry for your loss. Dr. Dooley was a truly amazing doctor and person! He has helped my sister, Natasha, and I since we were little. Mom and Dad loved how he was so great with us kids and how he always had an answer to every question they asked. He definitely changed our lives for the better. It was an honour to have him as our doctor.