Richard D. Stokes

Richard D. StokesRichard D. Stokes (Dick) passed into eternal life on Monday, March 21, 2022, just a few short weeks before his ninety-second birthday.

Richard was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, joining the Navy in 1950, and serving several shipboard tours during the Korean War prior to being stationed at NOTS China Lake. Once at China Lake, Richard met the love of his life while working an after-hours job as an usher at the Station Theater. Margaret Gallegos was working the concession stand at the Station Theater and the two fell in love, getting married in 1955 at the original Base Chapel. Richard and Margaret had three children, Karen Show of Ridgecrest (married to Barry Show), Rick Stokes of Ridgecrest, and Jim Stokes of Palm Bay, Florida (married to Claudia Stokes).

Richard left active-duty Navy in 1955 and immediately went to work as a civil service employee at China Lake. He first worked in the Supply Department and later in the Public Works Department, where he rose to the position of Administrative Officer. Richard retired from government service in 1991.

After retirement, Richard continued to serve the Catholic Church, accepting an appointment to the diocesan pastoral council for the Diocese of Fresno at the request of the former bishop, the Most Reverend John Steinbock. In addition, Richard served as a lector, an usher, and a eucharistic minister at Saint Ann’s Catholic Church, where he and Margaret were parishioners from the day the parish was first established. Richard also served as the construction manager for the new parish hall at Saint Ann’s and, upon completion, continued to work as the hall manager for many years before deciding to retire again.

In addition to his active involvement at Saint Ann’s, Richard was active in the Knights of Columbus, Father John Crowley Council and Fourth Degree Assembly. Richard served in a number of capacities, including Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, Financial Secretary, and District Deputy. Richard was also the Chairman of the K of C’s Spring Festival for many years.

Richard is predeceased by his lovely wife, Margaret, as well as his parents, Roy Stokes and Blanche Stokes of Columbus, Ohio, and his siblings, Chuck Stokes, Vincent Stokes, LeRoy Stokes, and Mary Narney. Richard is survived by all three of his children, in addition to his 4 grandchildren, Shannon Tharp of Ridgecrest, Stefanie Freund of Ridgecrest, Heather Stokes of Portland, Oregon, Joseph Stokes of Palm Bay, Florida, as well as 6 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandsons, and several generations of nieces and nephews.

Richard will be remembered at a wake service at Hollands & Lyons Funeral Home from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 7, 2022. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by a long-time friend of the family, Father Chris Heath, at Saint Ann’s Catholic Church at 10a.m., Friday, April 8 and he will be interred at Desert Memorial Park with military honors immediately following.

Story First Published: 2022-04-01