Walter E. Stokes III
Walter E. Stokes III, age 86, passed away Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010, at Washington Care, Greenville, Miss., surrounded by his loving family.
Funeral services for Walter E. Stokes III, are noon, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010, at Trinity United Methodist Church of Greenville, Miss. Burial is in Greenville Cemetery, under the direction of Boone-Wells Funeral Home, Greenville.
Mr. Stokes was born Nov. 13, 1924, in West Point, Miss., the son of Walter and Marie Howard Stokes, he spent his early childhood primarily in Miss., and La., as his father worked with the YMCA. Walter graduated from Greenville High School with honors in 1943, where he lettered in football, basketball and track. Upon graduation from high school, Walter entered Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., after being selected for the Navy V-12 unit, a program during WWII for male students seeking academic preparation prior to being commissioned in the United States Navy. As part of the V-12 program, Walter attended Princeton University and graduated from Midshipman School at Columbia University, New York, NY. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and began active service on the U.S.S. Admiralty Islands serving in the Pacific theater during WWII. Mr. Stokes was honorably discharged from active duty on July 1, 1946 as a Lieutenant JG. After his service in the Navy, Walter returned to Greenville and married Connie Chatham from Shaw, Miss., on Aug. 12, 1950. He and Connie were married for 30 years until her death and together lovingly raised five children. Walter was employed for over 30 years by the U.S. Gypsum Company in Greenville where he managed the customer service and production control departments.
He is survived by his wife, Adelyn Gerald Stokes of Greenville, Miss., whom he married July 2, 1983. They have been active members of Trinity United Methodist Church and sang in the chancel choir for many years. Mr. Stokes once served as the lay leader of Trinity Methodist and was a member of the Faith Sunday School Class.
In addition to his wife, Walter is survived by a sister, Marie Stokes Melichar of Laurel, Miss., as well as seven children: Laura (Rick) Stokes Hopkins of Cincinnati, Ohio, Connie (Danny) Stokes Griffin of Atlanta, Ga., Amy Chatham Stokes of Nashville, Tenn., Martha Fraiser Bryant of Laurel, Miss., John (Tammy) Clayton Stokes of Atlanta, Ga., Walt (Cindy) Elisha Stokes IV of Atlanta, Ga., and John (Carole) Jim Fraiser III of Tupelo, Miss. His 11 wonderful grandchildren include: Stephen, Tommy, Caitlin, Meredith, Daniel, Alex, Matt, Michael, Lucy, Mary Adelyn, and Paul James.
Mr. Stokes was a member of the Greenville Kiwanis Club as well as the Mississippi Senior Golf Association and an active supporter of the YMCA.
Mr. Stokes was a man of strong faith who added immeasurable joy and love to the lives of his children, family, and all who knew him. His integrity, respect for others, positive outlook, incredible sense of humor, and appreciation for life’s simple joys defined the man. A true gentleman, he was an inspiration to his family and friends which was exemplified in the way he lived. Mr. Stokes was a dedicated father, husband and a loyal friend who will be greatly missed but will always be in our hearts.
The family will receive friends at the church from 10:30 am to noon prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.