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John W. Dineen

April 11, 1947 ~ June 11, 2021 (age 74)


John W. Dineen, Esq. passed away on June 11, 2021. He and his wife, Gail Broadbent, were married for 36 years. Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, John was the son of the late John F. and Mary (McGrath) Dineen. He was the beloved father of Vanessa, Timothy and Olivia Dineen. John was much loved by his three sisters; Sheila Queenan, Katherine Gatley and Frances Gagnon. John was happiest spending time outdoors. He loved hiking and camping and long bicycle rides.

Like many of his generation, John's social consciousness was awakened by the events of the 1960's, particularly in the anti-war and civil rights movements. He was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war and faced prosecution (and won) for his refusal to be drafted. After his graduation from law school, he began a long and successful legal career dedicated to social justice. John worked for many years as a Legal Services attorney, first in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later at Rhode Island Legal Services, where he won a number of important cases, principally in the field of housing discrimination. John was known for his offbeat sense of humor and was a generous mentor to many young attorneys. After going into private practice in the late 1980's, John often served as a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU, focusing on First Amendment rights of free expression.  

John's funeral services and burial will be private. Please share memories and condolences at


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