Funeral Services for Wilton Marson Stokes, (86), of Baldwin, FL will be held 11:00am
Thursday, September 23, 2021, at the First Baptist Church in Baldwin, FL located on Center
Street with Rev. Chris Drum, Pastor officiating. Interment will follow in Brandy Branch
Cemetery, Bryceville FL, with Military Honors presented by the U.S. Army. The flag will be
presented to his granddaughter Bonny Beth on behalf of his daughter Sandy Luhman. The family
will receive friends one hour prior to service at the church.
Wilton was born February 1, 1935 in Baldwin, FL, the son of the late Herman Oscar Stokes Sr.,
and the former Hi Parshel Crews. Mr. Stokes passed away and joined his wife September 16,
2021 on her birthday. He is the last remaining sibling of six children, being preceded in death by
his sisters Leah Bell Greene, Zelma Wallace, Madeline Frost, Ina Jean Chapman, and his brother
Herman Stokes Jr. Addition to his siblings and his wife, he is also predeceased by his daughter
Bonnie Jean Stokes.
Survivors include his daughter Sandy (Dirk) Luhman of Rosebud, MT, his granddaughter Bonny
Beth (David) Olson of Billings, MT, and grandson Rex Luhman of Rosebud, MT. Mr. Stokes is
also survived by his brother and sister-in-law’s, Collean Stokes of Tallahassee, FL, JoAnn
Fouraker of Bryceville, FL, and Billy (Pat) Oliver of Jacksonville, FL. Twenty-seven nieces and
nephews; many great and great great nieces and nephews and friends.
He was a graduate of Baldwin High School and was married to the love of his life Marian
Virginia Oliver, by his own words, “The girl he laid his eyes on at the age of 12 and never took
them off.” Mr. Stokes served in the United States Army as a combat medic during the Korean
War. While stationed in Germany, Marian and Wilton added to the family a baby girl, Sandra
Idell Stokes. Following the war, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes returned home to Baldwin, FL. After
returning, the family grew with the addition of another fair skinned, beautiful girl, Bonnie Jean.
He worked for the U.S. Postal Service at the General Mail Center in Jacksonville, FL, later
becoming a supervisor and retiring after 34 years of service. He and his wife Marian, also had a
real estate business and Mr. Stokes was a realtor and broker. He and his brother Herman became
partners with their parents and grew the Stokes’ Drive-In Restaurant; an iconic place in Baldwin
where the locals could eat for pennies. It was also a hangout for teenagers on the weekends
following the football game on Fridays and the movies at the Mighty 90’s Drive-In on
Saturdays! Wilton had a love for athletics and loved his Florida Gators. His voice could often be
heard on Friday night football games coming from the broadcast booth where he called play-by-
play coverage never having any assistance by computers or a spotter on calling names, numbers,
and statistics. He had a natural voice for broadcasting and also for singing. He sang with a
Gospel Quartet, sang in the choir at the First Baptist Church where he was a lifelong member and
Deacon. He never met a stranger and made friends wherever he went. On many occasions he
would hand out a special card that said "KLUJICS" and ask "Have you ever seen that word.
That's a funny word. It means "Keep Looking Up Jesus Is Coming Soon."" He loved witnessing
for The Lord. He kept peppermints in his pocket to hand out. Many children knew him as the
"Candy Man." In the sixties, Mr. Stokes saw a need for local boys to participate in sports. He
established the Baldwin Franchise of the National Little League and brought baseball to
Baldwin. Later, Mr. Stokes was recognized by the town of Baldwin by naming the baseball park
in his honor. Today, the Wilton M. Stokes Ballpark bears his name. Cedar Bay Funeral Home
405 New Berlin Road, Jacksonville, FL in charge of arrangements. (904) 714-1110.
Those desiring may make donations to the First Baptist Church of Baldwin or the Baldwin Little
League Association in lieu of flowers.
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