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Welcome to the memorial page for

Dr. Joanna Doku

December 7, 1921 ~ January 11, 2018 (age 96)

Dr. Joanna Doku, formerly of Brookline, passed away on January 11, 2018 after a long, and healthy life surrounded by her beloved family. She is remembered as a warm-hearted and caring person by all who knew her. She taught us all how life should be lived: by consistently defying expectations with perseverance and a rebel’s spirit.

Dr. Doku was born in Istanbul, Turkey sometime between 1918 and 1921. It’s not that her birth documents are unavailable or inaccurate, Joanna just preferred to keep her age a mystery! The eldest daughter of successful Greek parents – dentist Anastasios Dokos and schoolteacher Despina Dokos – Joanna lived a happy and social life in Turkey.  After the sudden death of her father, 18-year-old Joanna took over his dental practice and became the financial provider for her young family. In 1964, during a time of social upheaval in Istanbul, Joanna immigrated to the United States with her young daughter, Lucy. Despite knowing very little English, she forged a new life in America as a single mother, earning a second degree in dentistry with high honors from the University of Alabama in 1967.

Dr. Doku resettled in Massachusetts soon after, practicing family dentistry for over 40 years in East Boston. She ran her own successful dental practice for nearly 25 years. Dr. Doku was affectionately known as Dr. Achelois by her patients, after the Greek moon goddess whose name means “she who washes away pain.”

An independent woman, Dr. Doku frequently ignored societal rules, including the rules of the road! She was also the ultimate friend, with a caring heart and easygoing attitude. On cruises, her friends would fight over who would get to be her cabin-mate. She loved hosting parties, travelling, spending summers on Cape Cod with four generations of her much-loved family, and ballroom dancing at Arthur Murray Dance Studios.

Dr. Doku remained active and social in the local Greek scene even into her later years. Though she frequently stayed out later than her roommate/grandson George and his rowdy friends, she would wake bright and early the next morning to cook them runny eggs to soak up the previous night’s revelries.

Dr. Doku is preceded by her younger sister, fellow independent woman Dr. Kitsa Fields of Rochester, NY.  

She is survived by her younger brother and best friend, Dr. Chris Doku and his wife Teddi Doku; nieces Annette Wolf, Odette Newsome, and Deadra Doku Gardner; daughter Lucy Poulos and her husband Peter Poulos; grandchildren Kristina Ings, George Poulos, and Deanna Petrucci; great-grandchildren Jonas, Amara, Evangelina, and Peter; as well as her many loving friends.

Funeral services were held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Chapel, in Brookline.

Memorial donations may be made in Dr. Joanna Doku’s name to the Dental Outreach to Trauma Survivors DOTS Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, a grant-funded program that allows survivors of domestic violence to receive dental treatment at little or no cost.  To learn more about this program, please visit the website at

DOTS Program c/o Kim Regan, Tufts Dental Fund Tufts University School of Dental Medicine One Kneeland Street Boston, MA 02111

Dr. Doku was laid to rest at Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston.

 Service Information

Funeral Service
January 17, 2018

11:00 AM
Greek Orthodox Cathedral Chapel
162 Goddard Ave
Brookline, MA 02445

Interment following funeral service
January 17, 2018

Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Ave.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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