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September 5, 1937 ~ December 31, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Theodora “Teddy” Geokezas, beloved wife, mother and yiayia, who departed this world on December 31, 2023, at the age of 86. Theodora’s life was marked by a love for her family, the Greek Orthodox faith and Greek culture and a deep commitment to serve others less fortunate. She is preceded by her brother Constantine Cokinakis, and parents Michael Cokinakis and Irene Matantos who emigrated from the island of Leros, Greece. Theodora leaves behind her husband Meletios (Mel), daughter Maria (husband David Howard, step-children Alec and Ellyn), son Demetrios (wife Eryn) and two grandchildren Jack and Evvi.
Theodora’s educational journey began in the Seattle public schools where she graduated from Lincoln High School in 1954 as valedictorian and student body president.
She went on to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla where she garnered the nickname “Teddy”. There, she pledged the Delta Delta Delta sorority and by the time she graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts, she was elected Vice President of the Student Body (women at the time were not allowed to be President) and served as President of the Mortar Board Society.
She began her professional career as Assistant to the Chair of the Student Body at Whitman College. She later found employment at The Boeing Company hiring and training secretaries and was quickly promoted to the role of Statistician.
She met her future husband, Meletios Geokezas at a church social event; they were married 2 years later.
Even though Theodora’s main focus was raising a family, her tireless efforts for various charitable organizations left an indelible mark. She volunteered as President of the Philoptochos Society as well as the Parish Council Secretary for St. George Greek Orthodox Church in St. Paul, MN, where she led the effort to feed people affected by AIDS. She also served as AAUW St. Paul Chapter President, promoting equity, education, and opportunities for women and girls, and was an active member of the League of Women Voters, working to empower voters through education and civic participation.
The home that Mel and Theodora made was warm and welcoming, a place where friends and family gathered to share good conversation, laughter, and delicious meals. Theodora’s culinary skills, influenced by her Greek heritage and inspired by Julia Child, were renowned. She delighted in preparing feasts that brought people together. Whether celebrating holidays or simply enjoying a Sunday dinner, their home was a place of joy.
When her husband retired, they returned to Seattle to be closer to family. She continued her volunteer work with the Bailey-Boushay House, League of Women Voters, and the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church.
As we bid farewell to Theodora, we celebrate a life well lived and a woman who left an enduring legacy of kindness, compassion, and dedication to others. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and all those fortunate enough to have crossed paths with her. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to her favorite charitable organizations: St. John the Almsgiver (a ministry of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church that provides meals to the homeless), the Greek American Historical Museum (aka Greeks in WA) and The Bailey-Boushay House.
Her Trisagion service is 6pm, Monday, January 15th followed by her funeral service at noon, Wednesday, January 17th. Both services will be held at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 1804-13th Ave in Seattle.
May her memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to us all.
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Funeral Family Home - Seattle, Washington