Dess S. Stokes was born to Henry and Sara Stokes on January 8, 1934 in Monticello, Florida. He was the youngest son of 10 children, all of whom preceded him in death. He was a member of the USAF and served honorably in the Army for twenty-five years. His military service included a tour in the Korean War and two tours in Vietnam, for which he received numerous honors. After leaving the military, Dess was employed by the School District of Philadelphia where he became the first African American transportation administrator to serve in that position. He retired from the School District after twenty-two years of service. Always one to give back to his community, Dess worked with City of Philadelphia on the Mayor’s Community Advisory Committee and founded a community organization dedicated to fighting environmental racism. For his work, he received an accommodation from the city’s mayor and the governor. With his wife, Dess moved to Delaware in 1996 and within two months became a member of the Delaware Democratic Party in the 29th district. He would spend 18 years helping the Party elect Democratic members to office, serving as a district chair for 9 of those years.
Dess was an avid bowler, participated faithfully in a local pinochle club and was a member of Modern Maturity Center in Dover, DE. Dess accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior early in his life. He loved reading the Bible and was an ordained teacher at First Pilgrim Baptist Church until his health failed him. He was also a member of the Dover Air Force Base Saturday Bible Study Club. Dess enjoyed convening with nature in his garden and spending with his family, including his wife and grandchildren.
Dess leaves to forever cherish his memory his loving and faithful wife, his queen and best friend, Denise; his children Roxielyn Brown (Odell), Sharon Stokes (who preceded him in death), Katherine Stokes, Atiya Kai Stokes-Brown (Gus, who was like a son), Lanett Tucker (Maurice), Robert L. Boston, and; his grandchildren, Martell Toliver, Quinton Toliver, Chantel Stokes, DeVante Bivins, Lakeisha Solomon, Amanda Brown, Anita Brown, Mariah Stokes, Maiya Stokes, Jayden Brown (Pop-Pop Jr.), Kai Brown (Army Man), Anesia Brown (Pop-Pop’s cook), Allanah Brown (Rudy); godchildren Anthony King, Syreita Jackson and Symone Bernard; and a host of in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral Services will be held 11am, Friday, February 19, 2021, in Holy Trinity Church of The Living God, 425 West Division Street, Dover, DE; where family and friends may view 2 hours before. Burial in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent via: www.pippinfuneralhome.com.
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