John D. was the fourth child of Leland C. and Callie Alabama “Bama” (Fuqua) Stokes. He lived most of his life in the same community where he and the Cedar Grove church were born during the same year, 1916. Stokes’ grandfather, Burrell Jackson Stokes, was a leader in establishing the congregation of which John D. would become a life member. His parents were active in the church and its ministry.
John D. became a member of the church at an early age and lived a life of dedicated service. At the age of 18, he became treasurer for the church and served in that role as long as he lived. In 1959 Stokes was ordained as an elder, a role he filled for more than 50 years. Upon his 80th birthday in 1996, Stokes was honored with a plaque from the congregation for his long years of service.
John D. was married to Mildred (Thomas) Stokes for almost 65 years. They were great partners in working for the church. Many preachers have visited and stayed in their home, which was known for their hospitality. Mildred Stokes passed away in 2002, and John D. lived alone until his death.
They were the parents of two daughters, Crystell (Jimmy) Prestwood, Andalusia, and Gail (Fred) Segrest, Huntsville, Ala. They also have four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
Funeral services were conducted at the Cedar Grove church building on Thursday, May 12. Services were conducted by Fred Segrest, son-in-law, and Larry Turman, grandson-in-law. His body was interred beside his wife’s grave and family members in the church cemetery.
Submitted by Curtis Thomasson, nephew.