Raymond K. ‘Ray’ Stokes

Raymond K. “Ray” Stokes, 84, of West Mansfield, died Saturday, May 10, 2014, at Heartland of Bellefontaine.

He was born in Bellefontaine on Jan. 10, 1930, a son of the late Norman and Eva Holt Stokes. He also was preceded in death by a brother, Eugene Stokes; and a brother-in-law, Byron Blank.

On July 13, 1950, he married the former Esther Williams in Paris, Ky., and she survives in West Mansfield, along with his daughters, Sharon (Ernesto) Acosta of Bellefontaine and Linda (John) Hyslip of Montana; a sister, Janet Blank of Dublin; a brother, Fred (Mary) Stokes of Sydney; grandchildren, Eisha (Aaron) Augustus of Bellefontaine, Cindy Hodge of West Mansfield, Michelle (Todd) Newman of Bellefontaine, Brandee Recinos of Bellefontaine, Joshua Hyslip of Montana and Bekah (Ryan) Purcell of Oregon; 17 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A 1947 graduate of Bellefontaine High School, Ray was a carpet installer with B&C Carpet Store in West Mansfield and attended the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church in Bellefontaine.  

In the 1970s, Ray was the manager and caretaker of Zane Caverns and was formerly a ranger with the Boy Scouts in Defiance, where they named a bridge in the camp “Stokes Bridge” in his honor.

To say that Ray was “handy” was an understatement, as he could fix anything. In addition to totally remodeling his own home, he also remodeled several others.

The Rev. Charles Temple officiates a memorial service at 3 p.m. Sunday at the West Mansfield United Church of Christ. Burial is at a later date in the Hathaway Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Arrangements were handled by Mannasmith-Schnurrenberger Funeral Home, West Mansfield, where condolences may be expressed at www.mannasmithfuneralhome.com.