Obituary: Margaret Stokes

Obituary: Margaret StokesMargaret Stokes was received into Our Lord’s open arms on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edmundo and Eliza Gallegos and sisters Rose Cronin and Celine Skinner. She is survived by her loving husband and our loving father, Richard of Ridgecrest. They celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary in August of last year.

Mom was born in Santa Rosa, N.M., in 1932 and moved to China Lake in 1952 with her father, sisters and brother after the death of their mother.

Her first job was in accounting at the Naval Ordnance Test Station where she continued to work until starting our family. She met Richard when they both worked in the evenings, part time at the Station Theater, China Lake. She worked the concession stand and he took tickets at the door. They found plenty of time to get to know each other once the movie feature began. This was a romantic story we never tired of hearing when we were children.

Margaret was devoted to the Catholic Church which she attended faithfully, especially her parish, Saint Ann’s where she was a member of the Legion of Mary. From 1971 until 1987 she taught fourth grade at St. Ann’s School. After a short hiatus, she went to work for the Boeing Company at the Technical Library, China Lake, until she retired.

After her devotion to her God, husband and family, almost everyone who knew her would agree, her greatest passion was education. In addition to teaching at Saint Ann’s School for 16 years, at an age when most people are starting to think about retiring, she finished her own education receiving a bachelor of science degree in management from the University of Redlands. Her family members were all so proud of her.

Some of the fondest memories her family have of Margaret are being required to help her wash the dishes, with the added pain of having to learn math multiplication tables while doing so.

When the children, Karen (Barry) Show, Rick (Gina) Stokes or James (Claudia) Stokes would ask their mother a question while doing their homework, without even looking up from the book she was reading, she would say, “Go look it up.” Our parents knew how important it was to teach their children how to be self-sufficient.

Margaret’s grandchildren, Shannon (Jason) Tharp, Stefanie (Billy) Freund, Heather Stokes and Joseph Stokes, remember that no visit to Grandma would be complete without her going to her secret stash and pulling out educational toys or workbooks that they could read, color or learn from. That dedication to education continued to the next generation, and Margaret’s six great-grandchildren, Tony Trinh, Ryan Trinh, Malia Davies, Makynna Freund, James Tharp and Karson Freund, all miss her greatly.

Margaret is also survived by her brother Edmund Gallegos of Cullman, Ala., with whom she looked forward to exchanging e-mails on a daily basis. They loved writing about family and current events. She also enjoyed Facebook where she could keep in contact with her many sweet nieces, nephews and cousins.

A vigil was held on Monday, March 3, and a Mass was held on Tuesday, March 4, officiated by longtime family friend, Reverend Chris Heath. Burial followed at Desert Memorial Park. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation in Margaret’s name be made to St. Ann’s School.

Submitted by the family of Margaret Stokes

Story First Published: 2014-03-12