Elmer S. Stokes, 83, died Sept. 17, 2006, at home, after a long illness.
Stokes was born in Ocean City, N.J., on Aug. 5, 1923, to John J. and Anna Schaffer Stokes, after which the family moved to Havertown, Pa., where Stokes attended Manoa Elementary and Havertown Junior High schools. The family then relocated to Lewes, at which time Stokes enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, in 1942.
He received numerous citations and medals for his valorous combat service in the various Asiatic and Pacific Theaters of World War II, including Iwo Jima and Tarawa, as well as Good Conduct and Sharpshooter Medals. Following his honorable discharge from active duty in 1946, Staff Sgt. Stokes returned to the U.S. but continued service to his country in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves until 1950, at which time he began his lifelong career as a master carpenter and commercial building contractor located in Dover. He continued in his “retirement” as a consultant superintendent/estimator for several commercial contractors in Kent and Sussex counties.
Later he became a charter member in the Delaware Marine Corps League, Diamond State Detachment, where he served in the Color Guard until 2004. Throughout the years until age 80, he was an active member of the American Legion, VFW, Moose Club and Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks. He could usually be found in his workshop, constructing some beautiful piece of furniture or cabinetry, WWII-era model ships and airplanes, or hand-painting his Marine Corps figurine flag holders for family and friends to enjoy. He also enjoyed attending harness races in Harrington and Dover, dog races while vacationing in Florida, and playing the slots anywhere.
He is survived by his sister, Virginia Beel of Lewes; five daughters, Alice Doeppe and husband Jerry, Mitzi Allen, Priscilla Clark and husband Robert, Barbara Nielsen and Ingrid Stokes; three sons, Christian Stokes and wife Kasey, Buster Loud and wife Diane, and Robert Loud and wife Penny; 15 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and two nieces. He will be dearly missed by his devoted friend and housekeeper, Kathy McBride of Lewes, his favorite cat buddy, Slazenger, and loving cocker spaniel “granddaughter,” Summer Clark. Stokes was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Perpetua O’Brien Stokes.
A memorial service and interment was scheduled for Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 26669 Patriots Way, Millsboro. For directions, telephone (302)934-5653.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be sent to Delaware Hospice — Southern Division, 20167 Office Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947 or Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 301 Ocean View Blvd., Lewes, DE 19958 or the Alzheimer’s Assn., of Sussex Co., P.O. Box 625, Georgetown, DE 19947.