Joanna Shirley Pylko

Nov. 3, 1945 – April 5, 2020

Joanna Shirley Pylko was born to Ruth Dohm and Kasimir Pylko on Nov. 3, 1945, in Bridgeport, Conn. She was 74. She was the second of three children in the family, which settled on the North Fork of Long Island, N.Y. 

Joanna graduated from Mattituck High School in 1963 and was known for her involvement in many activities, including glee club, band, volleyball and varsity cheerleading. Joanna was attending the State University of New York at Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh College) when she met and then married Ron Kukis, who was serving locally in the U.S. Air Force. They divorced in 1983.

Joanna had a big heart, which led her to professions that served others. She was a social worker for several years before deciding that education was her passion. After moving to Texas, Joanna earned a master’s degree in education and administration from Texas Woman’s University. She devoted the rest of her professional career to teaching students in the Plano Independent School District, specializing in elementary and middle school-aged children. Joanna was an instrumental part of the Plano Academic Support Program, working mostly with at-risk students who need additional assistance to succeed in school. Joanna loved teaching and working with young people, and spent 23 years in the PISD before retiring in 2006.

In 2013, Joanna moved from Texas to Colorado. Her hobbies were reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with family. Joanna will be greatly missed. 

She was predeceased by her mother, father and stepfather, Halsey Goldsmith. Joanna is survived by her older brother, Paul Pylko (North Carolina), and younger sister, Candee Gray (Florida); her daughter, Heidi Hoffman (Colorado), and son, Mark Kukis (Massachusetts); and four grandchildren. 

A memorial service for Joanna will be scheduled at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dementia Society of America at

This is a paid notice.