William Howard Stokes, 69
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 5:45 AM
William Howard Stokes 69, died at home, north of Howard Lake, on
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.
William Howard Stokes (Bill) was born Jan. 27, 1943, the eighth of nine
children born to Ray and Bernice (Keller) Stokes at Chatfield, Minn. He grew
up on the family farm. He graduated from Chatfield High School.
On Sept. 30, 1967, he married Shirley Bow, in Rochester, Minn. The
family moved to Howard Lake in 1977. After working at Lester's Builders,
Air Tech in Cokato, and as a carpenter, he returned to dairy farming and
later raised pigs and steers. He was a farmer at heart and enjoyed watching
the crops and seasons change.
Growing up he spent a lot of time fishing on the Mississippi River near
Wabasha, he also enjoyed hunting in the fall and winter. As a teenager he
enjoyed roller skating with family and friends, as the stories go they would
spend several nights a week going to different towns that had roller rinks
and he became quite a "show off." He received his first guitar as a
Christmas gift as a teenager and continued to "pick away" for his own
enjoyment and later for the grandkids.
He enjoyed trips to McDonalds, especially for their coffee and burgers.
He looked forward to going to Duluth each fall with his daughter and family.
He said he didn't like sports, but often watched a least part of the Viking
game. He was color blind and for no special reason he would bring home
flowers and say aren't these blue flowers pretty - they were probably pink.
He told terrible jokes. Some times he would call his kids - just because he
wanted to hear their voice, even if it was only the answering machine. He
loved desserts, especially pie, cookies, chocolate candy, and egg nog at
Christmas. He liked to ask the grandkids how their day went, what they had
for lunch, and if they had any homework. He was accepting of all and never
had an unkind word to say about anybody. He had a special place in his
heart for the nuns at Clara's Well, the people and priests at Kings House
and the guys at Sunset Ridges. During his illness he enjoyed visits from
friends and neighbors and especially quality time with his kids and
grandkids. He never complained and when asked how he was doing he'd say
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, of Howard Lake; his sons, Kevin
(Kelly) and Dan, all of Howard Lake; a daughter, Teri (Kevin) Vetsch of
Cokato; grandchildren, Alexa and Colton Vetsch and MacKenzie, Braden and
Jace Stokes; two brothers, Jerry (Betty) Stokes of Rochester, and Mike
(Carol) Stokes of Chatfield.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Bernice, four
brothers, and two sisters.