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Remembering Joe “Dodo” Nee

“Family was everything to Dodo, and South Boston was his family.” 

He was a proud Marine and Boston Firefighter – two callings that are the embodiment of caring for and protecting others.  Next week the South Boston Collaborative Center will be re-dedicated and re-named in honor of lifelong South Boston resident Joseph “Dodo” Nee.

“There wasn’t a community effort or project that Dodo didn’t support in one way or another,” explains his lifelong friend, fellow Marine and firefighter Bobby Sances.

But the SBCC held a very special spot in Dodo’s heart.

“The Center was founded in 1997 after a terrifying rash of teen suicides related to the drug crisis that was gripping the neighborhood,” explains Sances.  “Dodo was contacted by Michael Kineavy and they, along with the late Darlene Sheehan (the Collaborative first Director), and the late Jack Leary, Probation Officer of the South Boston Courthouse, formed the team that put the Collaborative together. Quite simply, Dodo saw a need to get these kids help, and that is just what he did – he gathered all the resources he could and with other partners established the SBCC.”

Today, The South Boston Collaborative Center is a community based DPH licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment program.   The Collaborative provides counseling, psycho-educational and referral services as part of the Boston Health Commission’s continuum of care, and provides each client with an opportunity to focus on individualized goals. The Collaborative Center assists adults and adolescents who are struggling to successfully and effectively cope with a variety of issues. Andy Ward is the Collaborative Director.

“Family was everything to Dodo, and South Boston was his family,” added Sances.

The re-dedication ceremony will take place at the SBCC (1226A Columbia Road) on Tuesday June 6th at 6 pm. There will be a reception immediately following on the Lawn on D at 420 D Street.  The reception is $25 to attend and there will be music, drinks, food and raffles with all proceeds to support the Joseph Dodo Need South Boston Collaborative Center.  Parking is free.

Dodo’s wife of 44 years Susan and their children, Kelly, Brian and Kristen will attend the ceremony and offer remarks and remembrances of Dodo’s dedication and commitment to the South Boston community.

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About the Author

Christine Fennelly

South Boston resident since 1996 (left for the 'burbs for a few years but that was no fun), unabashed anglophile, unapologetic binge watcher and voracious reader. Strong advocate for Al's Liquor store to roll out a rewards card for frequent customers. (You know that's a good idea.) Devotee of all things Cafe Porto Bello. SBCA mom, lives on Thomas Park with her precocious 10 yr old son and her spoiled rotten Bernese Mountain Dog, Dory.


  1. Alan A Rouse says

    He was definitely a great friend…neighbor & mentor for South Boston & all he knew…he is very missed but he is in a better place….RIP & may God bless him and his family always….