John Clarke Emery died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 1 at his home in Dedham. He was 87.

Born in Providence, R.I. in 1930, he graduated from the Groton School in 1948), Harvard College in 1952 and Harvard Law School in 1957. He served as a major in the U.S. Army. He had been a partner at the Boston law firm Sullivan and Worcester since 1968 and continued to work there as senior counsel until his death.

John spent his summers on Martha’s Vineyard and winters in Stowe, Vt., where he skied well into his 80s. He was an avid traveler, gardener and reader. He had a wonderful quick wit and was a perennial student. For a staunch New Englander, he was enthusiastic and energetic with everyone. Family was important to him and he is fondly remembered by his many nieces and nephews. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Jody Brown, and his son John C. Emery Jr. He was predeceased by his twin brother Hiram and grandson Darius. He was a member of the Dedham Polo Club, the Edgartown Yacht Club and the Reading Room.

A memorial service is planned for the spring.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Mass Audubon, the National Trust for Historic Preservation or Harvard College.

Arrangements are under the care of the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home in Dedham. For an online guest book, go to