Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ancestors of Alan Stokes - Generation E

Ancestors of Alan Thomas Stokes

Generation E

Paternal  Great Great Grandparents


Thomas Newton Stokes was born on Aug. 2, 1825, in Bedford County, Tennessee to Kinchen Stokes and Nancy Newsom. He married Frances Elizabeth Moore on January 7, 1847. He died on March 13, 1877, in Bedford County, Tennessee.

Frances Elizabeth Moore was born on Sept. 17, 1829, in Bedford County, Tennessee to Col. John Audland Moore and Nancy Yell. Frances Elizabeth Moore died in 1901, in Bedford County, Tennessee.

  1. Nancy C. Stokes 2223a (1848-1872). Nancy Stokes was born on Dec. 19, 1848. She married James C. Morton on Dec. 8, 1864 in Bedford County, Tennessee. They had two children: Annie Morton (b. 1866), and Arthur L. Morton (b. 1867). Nancy C. Stokes died on October 13, 1872.
  2. Betty Frances Stokes 2223b (b. 1852). Betty Frances Stokes was born on August 18, 1852. She married Reuben Bomar on Sept. 20, 1868. They had two children: Kate (Chitwood) Bomar (b. 1873), and John Bomar.
  3. James Alexander Stokes 2223c (1854-1924). James Alexander Stokes was born on September 14, 1854 in Bedford County, Tennessee. He married Cleaver C. Christian (1855-1922) on Nov. 4, 1875. They had three children: Edmond Cooper Stokes (b. 1876), Albert M. Stokes (b. 1878), and John W. Stokes (b. 1881). James Alexander Stokes died on February 3, 1924 in Bedford County, Tennessee.
  4. Jane C. Stokes 2223d (b. 1856). Jane C. Stokes was born on September 8, 1856 in Bedford County, Tennessee. Jane Stokes married Henry Jarman on October 11, 1875. They had a son named Ernest Jarman.
  5. Ellen Stokes 2223e (b. 1858). Ellen Stokes was born on October 9, 1858 in Bedford County, Tennessee. Ellen Stokes married J. Oscar Johnson on November 16, 1877. They had one son named J. Oscar Johnson, Jr.
  6. Laura Bell Stokes 2223f (b. 1861). Laura Belle Stokes married Bart T. Brown.
  7. Della Stokes 2223g (b. 1863). Della Stokes married William Chitwood. They had a son named Clifton Chitwood.
  8. Lela Stokes 2233h (b. 1865). Lela Stokes married Jim Spry.
  9. Margaret L. "Maggie" Stokes 2233i (b. 1867). Maggie Stokes married Ike Henry. They had the folllowing children: May, Howard, Argie, Ruth, Reece, and Katie.
  10. Newton A. Stokes 2223j (b. 1869). Newton A. Stokes married Maggie Durham. They had a son named Raymond Stokes. He had a second marriage to Martha (Matt) Hurt. They had a son named Thomas Moncrief Stokes (Reed) in 1912.
  11. THOMAS JEFFERSON STOKES 2223k (1871-1961). Direct Descendant-See Generation D.


John Thomas Bomar was born in 1860, in Beford County to Joseph B. Bomar and Frances "Fannie" Hurt. He died in 1935, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Wartrace, Tennessee.

Altona Catherine Moore was born November 7, 1857, in Bedford County, Tennessee to Tillman Tennessee Moore and Mary Frances Holt. She died on December 6, 1927, in Bedford County, Tennessee.

  1. John Thomas Bomar 2233a
  2. Lizzie Bomar 2233b
  3. Wilbur Bomar 2233c
  4. Tom Bomar 2233d
  5. VIOLA EDITH BOMAR 2233e (1884-1948) Direct Descendant-See Generation D.
  6. Joseph Comer Bomar 2233f (1888-1952)
  7. Horace Ira Bomar 2233g (1891-1959). Horace Ira Bomer was born on June 6, 1891 in Bedford County, Tennessee. He married Lydia Katherine Phillips (1892-1918). Horace Ira Bomer died on May 20, 1959 in Bedford County, Tennessee.



Robert Anderson Oakley was born on November 27, 1862 in Auglaize County, Ohio to Henry More Oakley and Nancy Jane Clark. He married Eliza Jane Miller on August 17, 1884 in Van Wert County, Ohio.  After the death of Eliza, Robert Anderson Oakley married her sister Anna Lieulla Miller on October 6, 1904. He died on February 20, 1915 in Van Wert County, Ohio and is buried in the King Cemetery in Midddlepoint, VanWert, Ohio. 

Eliza Jane Miller was born on December 7, 1856 in Allen County, Ohio to Absalom Miller and Rachel Carmean. She married Robert Anderson Oakley on August 17, 1884 in Van Wert County, Ohio. Eliza Jane Miller died in 1899 in Van Wert County, Ohio.

Photo of Robert Anderson Oakley and Eliza Jane Miller with their two boys, Berne and Charles.
(Photo Collection of Susan Ellis)

  1. Berne Carlton Oakley 2323a (1885-1964). Berne Carlton Oakley was born on January 25, 1885. He married Grace Catherine Morrison on October 30, 1910. He had 4 children: Marcile L. Oakley (1913-1995), Ferman A. Oakley (1916-2010), Bonita M. Oakley (1928-1986), and Harold K. Oakley who is living still. Berne Oakley died on October 1, 1964 in Paulding County, Ohio. He is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Van Wert County, Ohio. 
  2. CHARLES HENRY OAKLEY 2323b (1888-1942) Direct Descendant-See Generation D. 


Isaac Gilruth Woten was born on March 23, 1860, in Jay County, Indiana to Edward B. Woten and Mary W. Porter. He died Sept. 8, 1950. He was a member of the Trinity Evangelical and Reform Church in Manchester, Ohio at the time of his death.

Ellen Nora Mast was born in 1858 in Union County, Ohio to Johann George Mast & Maria Catherine Motteller. According to a 1910 census from Ohio the mother of Myrtle Woten was referred to as Ellen Woten. Ellen Nora Mast died on April 12, 1936, in Akron, Ohio.

  1. Arlonzo Franklin Woten 2333a (1884-1976). Alonzo (Lonnie) Franklin Woten was known by relatives as Lonnie. He was born on April 27, 1884 in Jay County, Indiana and died on November 6, 1976. He married Lillie Fay Shoop (Born: May 16, 1891, Died: Around March 1977). They had four children: Daisy Lucille Woten, Maggie Luellen Woten, Ezra E. Woten, and Charles Alvy Woten.
  2. Emma E. J. Woten 2333b
  3. MYRTLE WOTEN 2333c (1887-1981). Direct Descendent-See Generation 4.
  4. Jessie Edward Woten 2333d (1890-1974) Jessie Edward Woten was born on April 26, 1890. He maried Lillie Tuckerman. His tombstone says he was a Private in the US Army. He died on January 26, 1974.
  5. Flossie Bell Woten 2333e (1892-1976). Flossie Bell Woten was born on February 27, 1892 in Van Wert County, Ohio. She married Karl Kruger (1896-1989). Flossie Bell Woten died on February 1, 1976 in Akron, Ohio and is buried in the East Liberty Cemetery in Summit County, Ohio.
  6. Walter Daniel Woten 2333f (1894-1944). Walter Daniel Woten was born on June 10, 1894 in Van Wert County, Ohio. He married Stella Ward (1896-1978). Walter Daniel Woten died on April 18, 1948 in Gibson County, Tennessee.

Maternal Great Great Grandparents


Henry Ebersol was born on September 1, 1814 to John P. Ebersol and Elizabeth Minich. He died on May 16, 1891. (Source: E162 Database) Henry married Elizabeth Housewerth about 1846. For more information about Henry Ebersol and his children read an article in the The Story of Prairie Portage on The Henry Ebersole Home by Alma Hartline.

Elizabeth Housewerth was born August 23, 1812. Elizabeth enjoyed quilting. She died January 2, 1893. (Source: E162 Database)

  1. Mary Ebersol 3223a (1847-1888) Mary Ebersol was born in 1847 and died at age 41 in 1888. Mary Ebersol had never married.
  2. DAVID EBERSOL 3223b (1850-1900). Direct Descendent-See Generation D.


(b. 1845)
Joseph Shook was born in 1845 in Pennsylvania to Henry Shook and Charlotte Goodman. He married Ellen Weilman and they had my great-grandmother, Margaret Shook. After Ellen died he married a woman named Catherine.

Ellen Weilman married Joseph Shook. Nothing is known about her life span or her parents.


(B. about 1854)
Jerome Hutchens was born about 1854. Jerome married Clara Gamble on November 24, 1874, in Hillsdale, Michigan. I have been unable to find out who Jerome Hutchens parents were.

(B. 1856) 
Clara was born on April 6, 1856, in Hillsdale, Michigan to Thomas Gamble and Rebecca Kuder. Clara married Jerome Hutchens on November 24, 1874, in Hillsdale, Michigan.

      1. DEVILLO LOVELL HUTCHENS 3323a (1875-1937). Direct Descendent- See Generation 4
      2. Ethelyn Hutchens 3323b (1878-1885). Ethelyn Hutchens was born on January 1, 1878 and died November, 1885.
      3. Catherine Hutchens 3323c (B. 1879). Catherine Hutchens was born October 28, 1879.
      4. Clark Hutchens 3323d (B. 1883). Clark Hutchens was born January 21, 1883.
      5. Iva Hutchens 3323e (1884-1908). Iva hutchens was born on October 2, 1884, in Hillsdale, Michigan. She married John Seamans about 1905. They had two children: Harriet J. Seamans (B. Aug. 18, 1906-Died 1908); Clara K. Seamans (B. April 23, 1908-Died July 8, 1948). Iva Hutchens died on May 6, 1908 in San Jose, California.
      6. Josephine Hutchens 3323f (1888-1951). Josephine Hutchens was born on January 20, 1888 and died on April 5, 1951.


Silas Marion Gifford was born in 1841, to John Gifford and Clara Walker. His granddaughter Doris Hutchens in a personal conversation in the 1980's referred to him only as Marion. Silas Gifford's first wife was Lori M. Smith (b. 1850). After Lori Smith died in 1878, Silas Gifford married Mary "Minnie" E. Wheelock on May 18, 1879, in Ionia County, Michigan. He died in 1885. He had enlisted as a Private in the Civil War on August 27, 1861, with the Company I, 83rd Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania. He was wounded on June 27, 1862, in The battle of Gaines' Mill, Virgina and he was discarged because of wounds on November 24, 1862. He attended a Presbyterian Church and was an active member according to his Granddaughter, Doris Hutchens.

(B. 1853) 
Mary was called by her family by the name Minnie. Mary Wheelock was born on August 14, 1853 in Ionia County, Michigan to Orville Wheelock and Anna A. Cornell. Mary Wheelock married Silas Gifford on May 18, 1879 in Ionia County, Michigan. Minnie Wheelock and Marion Gifford had a daughter Edith Mabel Gifford in 1880, who is my Great Grandma. After Marion Gifford died in 1885, Minnie married Merritt Lowe and they had a daughter Florence Lowe in 1892. Another daughter of Minnie's marriage to Merritt Lowe, Eva Lowe died at age 7.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just the Driver in the Car

I dreamed that the Lord and I were riding in a car
Together through the highways and byways of my life.
I was driving, but Christ sat on my right hand.
He had a brake on his side just like
The driver's education instructors have.

We didn't ride in a fancy car, it was just a Dodge!
But it was faithful.
Together we rode and talked together
Through many turns in my life.
We went through storms and sunshine.

We drove the Dodge through valleys, deserts,
Mountain ranges, bridges over water, and fertile plains.
There were times we sped 65 mph in heavy traffic,
And times we drove down isolated roads.
Sometimes we traveled unpaved paths to help the poor.

But the best times of all were when we slowed down,
Especially when we parked and stopped our work.
Even then we stayed in the car together,
Resting in Divine communion.

But something troubled me, as I looked back through my life.
I noticed the troubled times of trial, temptation,
Decision, conflict, and doubt when I called upon Christ to
Navigate. I saw just the driver in the car.
I asked the Lord, and I said, "You promised you would stay
With me always, then why in the troubled times of trial and
Decision do I see just the driver in the car?"

Jesus replied, "My child, I love you and would never forsake
You in your time of trouble. When you faced doubt and
Decision and saw just the driver in the car, it was then
That I was at the wheel driving. And you were in the
Backseat resting."

Just the driver in the car. Oh, yes I understand.
When I look back through troubles in my life
And see just the driver in the car,
It was then that Christ was driving me solo.
And I was resting in the back under his care.

Just the driver in the car!
Just the driver in the car!

By Alan T. Stokes 
March 9, 1989

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Favorite 50 IPhone Apps of 2014

It's time again for my 5th Annual blog post on my favorite iPhone Apps.

This year I upgraded to an iPhone 6. Features of this year's post.

  • I have increased the list of favorite apps from 40 to 50.  
  • I have grouped the apps by the official category they are listed in within iTunes. 
  • If you click the link in the name it goes to the page to download the app in iTunes. 
  • Approximately 80% of the apps are FREE. If one wanted to purchase all of the apps that cost it would come to $36. Prices noted are subject to change.

Category: Books

Reformation Study Bible. ($9.99) This app provides the entire text of the Reformation Study Bible.

Category: Business

Jot Not Scanner Pro. ($.99) Turns one's phone into a portable scanner.

OWA. (FREE) This app helps people to access Microsoft Outlook 365 email from their phone.

Category: Catalogs

Craigslist Pro. (FREE) Helps one monitor Craigslist postings in multiple geographical areas.

Category: Games

Conquest. ($2.99) A game that is like classical Risk but with dozens of more worlds. 

Category: Education

RefNet. (FREE) This app is RefNet Christian radio. 

Category: Entertainment

Netflix. (FREE) This allows one to watch Netflix directly on their phone. Requires Netflix subscription.

Roku. (FREE) This app serves can serve as a remote control to Roku on one's television. It's perfect for whenever you have misplaced the original remote control for the Roku.

Category: Finance

BillMinder. ($1.99) This is a bill reminder and organizer.

Chase Mobile. (FREE) A useful app for Chase customers and one of the top rated banking apps.

MSUFCU: (FREE) A useful app for customers of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

Category: Health & Fitness

Health Mate. (FREE) This app is a steps tracker and life coach by Withings.

Water Lite. (FREE) This app allows one to track their water consumption during the day. 

Category: Lifestyle

Pocket Prayer Pro - A Prayer Journal. ($1.99) This is a prayer journal that one can use on their phone.

Shopper. (FREE)  This app allows one to create and share shopping lists with others.

University Reformed Church. (FREE) This is the official app for the University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. 

Category: Music

Tune In Radio Pro. ($9.99) This app helps one to listen to thousands of radio stations around the world from their phone.

Category: Navigation

Google Maps.(FREE) The app helps one navigate and does everything a GPS would.

Category: News

Drudge Report.  (FREE) This app provides links to news articles via The Drudge Report website.

Paper.  (FREE) This app shows stories from Facebook.

Reverb. (FREE)  This app is a personalized news discovery portal. 

Category: Photo & Video

YouTube. (FREE) This app helps one watch YouTube videos from their phone.

Category: Productivity

1Password. (FREE) This is a secure password manager.

AT & T DriveMode: (FREE) This app can save lives. It senses when you are driving and turns off the text on your phone. It will send an auto reply to people that you are driving and the drive mode can be turned off if the user is a passenger.

EasilyDo. (FREE) This app is an assistant for email, contacts, calendar, and travel. Premium subscription available and if you have Evernote premium there is a free 3 month trial of premium EasilyDo.

Evernote. (FREE)  This app helps one write and organize notes from their phone that are then synced and saved in their online Evernote account.

EZ Receipts. (FREE) This app is used to submit flexible spending health care receipts or claims to WageWorks.

GMail. (FREE)  This is the official GMail app for the iphone.

Groups. (FREE) This app helps one organize contacts by multiple groups.

Journal for Evernote. ($.99) This app improves Evernote by allowing one to add to a note throughout the day and then it syncs with Evernote at the end of the day into one note for the day.

Pocket Informant. (FREE)  This app is a powerful calendar and to do list that can be shared with others. It can be upgraded to the full premium version which is currently $14.99.

Toodledo. ($2.99) This app allows one to create and group to do lists and notes through the Toodledo program.

Category: Reference

Brainy Quote. (FREE)  Gives over 175,000 quotes from Brainy Quote to satisfy one's cravings for quotes.

GedView. ($3.99) This app allows a genealogist to save genealogy information on their phone.

The Holy Bible. (FREE)  This app is an excellent resource for one to read and search through the Bible on their phone.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (FREE) This app gives one access to the wealth of information on the Merriam-Websiter Dictionary. 

Category: Social Networking

Blogger. (FREE) This is the official Blogger app that can be used to review or update their blogs.

Evernote Hello. (FREE) This app helps one remember things about people they meet.  It works in conjunction with Evernote

Facebook. (FREE) This is the official Facebook app.

Find My Friends. (FREE) This app allows one to see the exact GPS location of friends or family member's phone at anytime once the other phone user has granted permission for that search.

Google+. (FREE)  This app is the official app for Google+ social media.

Instapray. (FREE) This is a social networking app to pray for people from around the world. 

Linkedin. (FREE) This is the official app for LinkedIn social network.

Twitter. (FREE) This is the official Twitter app.

Category: Sports

Yahoo Sports. (FREE)  This is a one stop sports app that will satisfy one's craving to monitor scores of games and the standings of their favorite teams.

Category: Travel

GasBuddy. (FREE) This app helps one find the cheapest gas prices in their area.

Yellow Pages Local Search. (FREE) This app serves as a portable Yellow Pages directory on one's phone. 

Category: Utilities

Chrome(FREE) This app helps one use the Chrome browser on phone for web surfing.

QRReader. (FREE) This app allows one to scan QR codes from their phone.

Category: Weather

Yahoo Weather. (FREE) This app helps one check the weather in their area or anywhere else around the world through their phone. 

The 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 lists are still available on The Light Stop blog by clicking the Label "IPhone".

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Golden Retriever

You encourage me to obtain the exercise I really need,
And enjoy walks leisurely but even more with speed.

Born from a genuinely loyal and devoted breed,
You make me feel like I will always succeed.

What did you want to say to me as your tail happily moved?
I know you love me but I’d like to have any doubt removed.

You are very friendly to any child you happen to meet.
Helping to dry crying tears by being so funny and sweet.

When thunder comes the world gives you such a scare,
It seems you just need to know I’m nearby and care.

It is so remarkable that you’d rather give up your bone,
Then spend one extra moment outside and all alone.

It seems you can never get enough walks with me,
Or the opportunity to chase a squirrel up a tree.

I’m grateful that God above created your kind,
And if you lived in heaven I sure wouldn’t mind.

Inside your big cuddly body is a heart of gold,
Though now you are young soon you will be old.

And when your time comes to leave me I will not forget,
And it will be difficult to have any other dog for a pet.

By Alan T. Stokes
October 1, 2001

Note: Written about my 2 year old Golden Retriever, Shalom’s Benjamin Jacob. A.K.A. B.J.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Cat I Will Smooch

Misty mesmerized by something on the computer

A cat knows how to always keep clean,
And how to avoid dogs that seem mean.

She will purr steadily when she is happy.
Unwanted advances will make her snappy.

She'll sit in the window and take in fresh air.
Or cuddle up so cute in a lady's soft chair.

It is true that I am a fan of a golden pooch,
But sometimes my cat and I will smooch.

I have cats because of my dear wife,
But they give to me too a better life.

It's been said that cats have nine lives,
And I hope that mine smiles and thrives.

By Alan T. Stokes (April 26, 2002)

For Misty
Note: Misty lived to a very old age and passed away from Kidney failure on June 8, 2014.

His Holocron

In a time when the truth takes a back seat
In many churches and the halls of government,
We must make sure that every day we meet
The Savior who is revealed in the New Testament.

Healing hands and words of truth
Were the choice technology of His day.
His sinless life was irrefutable proof
There is a God who created our way.

And God wants each one of us to seek
The way of truth, life, and hope,
And make it permeate all we speak
Because it provides the only way to cope.

In our generation's search for wisdom.
We don't have to find a secret holocron
To help us keep step with God's kingdom.
Because the Holy Bible is His Holocron.

I'm sure that nothing new can improve
Upon the Savior's free and golden grace,
Or equal the way His Holocron will move
Mountains in the life of one who turns to His face.

So before you waste years living for self,
Or spend hours searching the internet
Looking for the key to peace for yourself
Remember what Jesus said God meant:

 "All things that the Father has are Mine;
Therefore I said that He takes of Mine
And will disclose it to you." (John 16:15)

By Alan T. Stokes (October 12, 1998)
For my friend Matt Trease.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Fire's Reward

The fire touches my life.
Reward is a personal peace,
Patiently longing for heaven.

By Alan T. Stokes 
January 1, 2002

This was submitted on the given date to the Poetry in Motion contest on 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our Inheritance

I dreamed that the Lord came by my bedside
And took me far away.
On a tour of Heaven.

Everywhere I looked my eyes
Saw the beauty of precious jewels
As abundant as the grass of the earth.

Everywhere I walked my ears heard 
A mighty chorus of voices praising God
As constant and tireless as the waves of the ocean.

All around me,
I could feel tremendous peace and love
For there was no darkness, disappointments, disabilities, nor death.

Then Jesus held me close and said, "Your room here is almost finished."
But suddenly I grew concerned, and tears came to my eyes,
As I realized how unfinished the rooms for my loved ones were.

"This world is cruel and mean, will they be okay?, "I said.
Then Jesus took my hand and tenderly smiled as he reminded me,
"Honey, you aren't the only who loves them you know.

I am the power behind those prayers.
I am the joy behind your laughter and smile.
I am the strength behind your work.

I am the grace behind your compassion.
I am the wisdom behind your counsel.
I am the spirit behind your commitment and dedication.

I am the light behind your path.
I am the hope behind your faith.
I am the life behind your life.

The inheritance you have given them is Me."
So then I woke up from my dream and as usual,
My fear was gone and the Lord had the last word.

By Alan T. Stokes  October 18, 1997    
For Jewel Hogan at her funeral  (1904-1997)

Friday, August 22, 2014


Bare cupboard, empty wallet, medical test.
Lost direction, upset stomach, holy fast.

In the midst of my hunger I ponder,
How many resources we squander.

Life is consumed in daily excesses,
That never bring eternal successes.  

The most precious jewel is a soul,
Who with trust in God can be whole.

Destroying or ignoring a gemstone,
Both remove God from the throne.

Reality belongs to the astute few,
Who though full have hunger in view.

By Alan T. Stokes

April 14, 2002

To help those who are hungry visit  The Hunger Site .

Friday, August 15, 2014


To all your communication add a smile
And others will love you and go the extra mile.

Embrace your interdependence upon others
And you will find support through your sisters and brothers.

Let teamwork be a part of every task.
And don't let yourself hide behind a mask.

Then you will find the sun will shine right
On all the fruit of your plans and might.

By Alan T. Stokes 
January 9, 2001

Note:  Written at American Camping Association Sectional Meeting.  
Requirement was to write a poem using the words communication, teamwork, and interdependence.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Our God Hears

He hears our tears,
When no one else sees them.

He hears our sins,
When no one else redeems them.

He hears our dreams,
When no one else believes them.

He hears our pains,
When no one else understands them.

He hears our temptations,
When no one else can handle them.

He hears our joys,
When no one else caused them.

He hears our problems,
When no one else wants them.

He hears our prayers,
When no one else hears them.

He hears our praises,
When no one else is worthy of them.

He hears our tomorrows,
When no one else knows them.

He hears our daily steps,
When no one else joins them.

He hears our victories,
When no one else values them.

He hears our dear children,
When no one else could find them.

He hears our complete life,
When no one else still remains.

He hears our eternal soul,
When no one else hears our heart beat.

By Alan Thomas Stokes
October 25, 1997    Used with a Sermon on 
Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Pastor's Love

Steve Hoffman

In the most difficult of times we experience a pastor's love.
Gently bringing God's hope to us like a peaceful dove.  

And in the best of times too a pastor is a part of our story,
Reminding us of the God above who deserves all the glory.

A good pastor spends the years planting in our hearts a seed,
That a holy relationship with Christ is what we really need.

And through the years a pastor is like a light in our home,
Standing steadfast when from God and church we roam.

But a pastor's love remains only for God's appointed season,
Then we who are part of the church's ministry hear the reason.

A different congregation wants and needs our pastor's love,
And we'll need to find a new pastor with wisdom from above.

We are sad because we don't want to lose our pastor today,
But we rejoice that our pastor will point others to God's way.

Our pastor modeled for us how to live for God through it all,
And with Christ in our hearts we will be strong and never fall.

So as we wish our pastor every blessing in the journey ahead,
We carry extreme confidence and faith as to heaven we tread.

By Alan T. Stokes 

August 13, 2000

Written for Pastor Steve Hoffman on his last Sunday as pastor of Minneapolis Sonlight Church of the Nazarene before he moved to become the pastor at Fergus Falls Church of the Nazarene in Minnesota.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Little Schoolhouse

In a little school house long ago
I whiled away my hours,
Not over books, as I should have
But, dreamin' up poems of flowers.

An bees, an birds, an cooling woods 
An sunny days and peaceful nights
An I vowed when I got more grown up
Of all these things I'd write.

An some day I would venture back
To that same school house door
And I'd recite poems to the kids
They'd clap an say, "More, more."

Since that time, twenty-six years have passed
I now am thirty-eight,
But yet I've ne'er forgot my vow
A little while I'll wait-

Until the knowledge of all these things
Has reached a higher score,
Then I can write better poetry
By understanding more.

An when at last I've reached my goal
I'll go back an thru my tears,
I'll tell them how that little school house
Has inspired me thru the years.

Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)   This poem was written in 1950.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Around the Bend

Down the highway of life-
"Just around the bend"
Is the goal you've been striving-
To reach, my friend.

Don't let your steps falter,
Don't slack in your pace,
For, "Just around the bend"
Is the end of your race.

The road may seem endless, 
To your heart- weary soul,
But, don't stop now- Keep ploddin'
"Just around the bend's" your goal.

Anything, worth having,
Is worth waiting for,
So work a little harder,
Bring up your score.

Work on, my dreamer,
Falter not, my friend,
For the goal, that you long for--
Is, "Just around the bend."  

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ancestors of Alan Stokes - Generation D

Ancestors of Alan Thomas Stokes

Generation D

Paternal  Great-Grandparents


Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Sr. was born on July 1, 1871, in Bedford County, Tennesse to Thomas Newton Stokes and Frances Elizabeth Moore. He married Edith Viola Bomar in Bedford County, Tennessee on January 27, 1903. He lived his entire life in Bedford County, Tennessee and worked as a farmer with a reputation for being "hardworking". He died on July 30, 1961, in a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first time he had been to the hospital for anything. His death was attributed to a stroke he had a week before passing.

Viola Edith Bomar was born on February 12, 1884, in Bedford County, Tennessee to John Thomas Bomar and Altonia Catherine Moore. Violar Bomar married Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Sr. on January 27, 1903 in Bedford County, Tennessee. She lived in Bedford County, Tennessee her entire life. Viola Bomar died on Nov. 3, 1948, in Bedford County, Tennessee. She died from a fast spreading cancer.

Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Sr. and Viola Edith Bomar in 1904, with their first child, my Grandfather, Henry Thomas Stokes, Sr.

  1. HENRY THOMAS STOKES, SR. 223a (1903-1995)-See Generation C.
  2. Lillard E. Stokes 223b (1906-1955). Lillard Stokes was born on December 17, 1906, in Bedford County, Tennessee. On December 18, 1926, he married Lucille Alma Parmiter (July 25, 1909-July 2, 1992). They had two children. On March 2, 1946 he married Nan Siler (March 6, 1920-June 11, 1992). They had two daughters. Lillard E. Stokes died on February 18, 1955, in Toledo, Ohio, after being hit by a drunk driver. Tragically his 6 year old daughter Janice Yvonne Stokes (June 8, 1949-Feb. 18, 1955) died in this same accident.
  3. Ezra Hiles Stokes 223c (1908-1988). Ezra Hiles Stokes was born on April 19, 1908, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He never married. He died from cancer on March 14, 1988, in Bedford County, Tennessee.
  4. Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Jr. 223d (1910-1986) Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Jr. was born on June 22, 1910, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He married Mary Cassie Pruitt on January 21, 1937 in Bedford County, Tennessee. He had two children: Everett Donald Stokes and Mary Linda Stokes (who married Frank Thomas Pitts). Thomas Jefferson Stokes, Jr. was killed on April 5, 1986, in a tragic house fire in Bedford County, Tennessee, along with his wife Mary Cassie Pruitt. 
  5. Paul Euless Stokes 223e (1912-1995). Paul Stokes was born on June 30, 1912, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He married Mary Aliene Chitwood on August 20, 1934, in Bedford County, Tennessee. They had twins Paul Howard Stokes and Mary June Stokes were born premature and died on January 23, 1945.  They had a daughter Peggy Stokes (who married James Russell Bowling). Mary Chitwood was born on June 17, 1914 and died on June 24, 2000. Paul Stokes died on August 25, 1995, in Rutherford County, Tennessee.


Charles Henry Oakley was born on July 22, 1888, in Toldeo, Ohio (Lucas County) to Robert Anderson Oakley and Eliza Miller. Charles Oakley was a telegrapher and station operator for the Cincinnati Northern Railroad and he was also later a salesman. He married Myrtle Lewelly Woten on September 5, 1907, in Van Wert County, Ohio. Charles Oakley died in 1942, in Berrien County, Michigan.

Charles Oakley at the railroad station in Yorkshire, Ohio where he worked. Taken in about 1912-1913. Charles and his son Cecil are far right in picture (Photo Collection of Susan Ellis).

Myrtle Lewelly Woten was born in Van Wert County, Ohio on Sept. 6, 1887 to Isaac Gilruth Woten and Ellen Nora Mast. She married Charles H. Oakley on September 5, 1907, in Van Wert County, Ohio. She spent her last years living with her youngest daughter June. Myrtle died in May, 1981, in Columbus, Ohio.

Myrtle Woten as Old WomanMyrtle Woten as Young Woman

Left: Myrtle Woten as a young woman (Photo Collection of Susan Ellis). Right: Myrtle Woten is the older lady in the middle. Her daughter Treva is on the left and her son in-law Henry Stokes is on the right. Taken in the 1960's or 1970's.

The wedding photo of Charles Oakley and Myrtle Woten on September 5, 1907 (Photo Collection of Susan Ellis).


  1. Cecil Anderson Oakley 233a (1910-1998). Cecil Anderson Oakley was born January 29, 1910 in Miami, Ohio. Cecil married Leora LaGro. He had two children: Flossie Mae Oakley Jarvis (1930-1966) and Jack Daniel Oakley (1928-2001). He had been a Brickmason. In the 1960's he and his wife Leora ran The Little Red Inn in Toledo. He later worked for National Car Rental and the University of Toledo. He was a member of the Toledo Sailing Club for 47 years. Cecil Oakley died on June 25, 1998 in Toledo, Ohio from emphysema. Note his obituary on the right.
  2. TREVA ELNORA OAKLEY 233b (1912-1980). Direct Descendent-See Generation C.
  3. Myrtle June Oakley 233c (1917-2009). Myrtle June Oakley was born on October 24, 1917. She married Ray Terry and they had a daughter Ronnie Terry Kiefer and a son Charles Terry. Myrtle June Terry was a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio. Myrtle June Oakley passed away on September 16, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio (

Maternal  Great-Grandparents


David Ebersol was born in 1850, in Ohio to Henry and Elizabeth Ebersole. It is said that he was born in Ohio while his family was migrating from Pennsylvania to where they would eventually settle in Berrien, Michigan. David married Maggie Shook on Aug. 12, 1894, in Bertrand Township in Berrien, Michigan. David's father Henry Ebersole spelled his name with an "e" at the end, but according to research at some point David began spelling the name without an "e" at the end and his son passed on the surname "Ebersol" to his descendents. The 1892 Berrien County, Michigan Directory listed David Ebersol's occupation as that of a farmer. He lived in Section 23, and owned 33 acres valued at $1,230.

MARGARET (Maggie) SHOOK 323 
Margaret Shook was born in 1870 in Pennsylvania to Joseph Shook and Ellen Weilman. Maggie married David Ebersole on Aug. 12, 1894, in Bertrand Township in Berrien, Michigan. They had two children, Violet Ebersole and Henry David Ebersol. In 1900, her husband David died and her children were taken to separate orphanages. On April 12, 1901, Maggie married George Radley. She died in 1916 and is buried on the Ebersole lot with her husband, David, his sister and his parents. She was the namesake for my mother Margaret Stokes.

David Ebersol and Margaret (Maggie) Shook taken on or around their wedding in 1894.

  1. Violet Ebersol 323a Violet was put in a Girl's home near Coldwater, Michigan after David Ebersole died in 1900. She married Wayne Robinson in R.D. Crosswell, Michigan. Her sister in-law, Doris Hutchens, remembers that Violet was a devout Jehovah Witness and spoke frequently about her religion when visiting her brother, Henry.
  2. HENRY DAVID EBERSOL 323b (1895-1939). Direct Descendent-See Generation C.


Devillo was born Aug. 20, 1875, in Hillsdale, Michigan to Jerome Hutchens and Clara Gamble. He married Edith Gifford in 1904. He had a heart attack and was bed ridden the last 7 years of his life as his wife Edith cared for him. He died in 1937.

Edith Gifford was born on Oct. 13, 1880, in Ionia, Michigan to Silas Marion Gifford and Mary "Minnie" Wheelock. L.S. Stevens, M.D. was present at the birth of Edith Mable Gifford. She married Devillo Hutchens in 1904. After a long life, Edith Gifford died on Sept. 10, 1974, in a nursing home in Jackson, Michigan. She is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan.

Edith Gifford Hutchens

Edith Gifford from her nursing home room in Jackson, Michigan. It was taken about 1972. The boy who is in the left side of the edge of the photo is Alan Stokes.

  1. Marion Jerome Hutchens 333a (1906-1985). Marion Hutchens was born on Feb. 28, 1906, in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was named after both of his Grandfathers, "Jerome Hutchens" and "Silas Marion Gifford". He married Irene Harris. Marion Hutchens had a second marriage to a lady named Harriet (d. February, 1979).  Marion Hutchens died in June, 1985 in Jackson, Michigan.
  2. DORIS HUTCHENS (1908-1983) . Direct Descendent-See Generation C.
  3. Clark Lovel Hutchens 333c (1910-1973). Clark Hutchens was born July 26, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan. He married Therza Jane McNeal (1909-1971). Clark Hutchens died July, 1973, in Jackson, Michigan. He had three children.
  4. Georgia Anna Hutchens 333d (1914-1975). Georgia Hutchens was born Feb. 25, 1914, in Wheatland Center, near Adison, Michigan. She was named after her Father's Aunt. She married Royal Thomas Beck in January, 1938, in Jackson, Michigan. Georgia Beck died on Nov. 1975, in Hanover, Michigan. She had one son named Royal Lovel Beck.
  5. Frank Eugene Hutchens 333e (1920-1987). Frank Hutchens was born Nov. 1, 1920, in Jackson, Michigan. He was named after an uncle on his Father's side. He died on December 3, 1987, in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was buried in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Kalamazoo County, Michigan. The register at Fort Custer National Cemetery lists the following information on Frank E. Hutchens. Hutchens, Frank E, b. 11/01/1920, d. 12/03/1987, US Army, PFC, Res: Battle Creek, MI, Plot: 1 0 643, bur. 12/09/1987

Hidden Dreams

All the world loves a dreamer,
Yet, the dreamer dwells aside
From the rest of the human race.
His dreams to ever hide.

Some are full of laughter,
Others end in tears;
But, still secluded in his self.
For would not The World leer

If it, but knew this dreamer,
Who'd dreamed his whole life thru,
Had never had a single one
Of his golden dreams come true?

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Two Men

Two men sat on the old park bench,
One, jobless, homeless, without friend,
The other quite the other way,
Had more of money than he could spend,
Job and home but not a friend.
Said one, "If I had a job and home,
I could easily get a friend
To help me share my new found wealth
And help me my money spend;
But, I have neither job nor home nor friend.
The other sat with bowed down head, 
Deep in thought, at last he spoke,
"I too, once thought with a job and home
I could have a friend since I wasn't broke,
One to love me and be a real friend.
But, the years have gone swiftly by,
And, much to my disgust,
No friend has come to share with me
My job, my home.  I trust
You'll have better luck than mine and find a real friend."

And as they sat there side by side,
Great peace around them stole
And clothed them in comradeship
That's worth much more than gold.
And they knew, at last, their search was at end for a friend.

Said one who had the riches,
"You can come along home with me
And ever be close by my side
A friend to ever be; 
And I need search no more on this shore for a friend."
The poor man thanked him again and again,
Then they both arose and walked unafraid
Homeward bound together, shedding tears of joy,
For this new bargain they had made: 
The one gave of his wealth an equal part;
The other gave his all, true friendship, love of heart.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just A Mom

Would that I could be a bird
A-sailing thru the sky,
Or that I a branch might be
A-leafing way up high,
Or still a busy honey bee
To flit from flower to flower,
A rose in all it's beauty
A-resting in it's bower.

Instead I'm destined for the home,
Queen o'er my domain,
Wherein I've won a lasting jewel
For my children's love I've gained.
I cannot be a bird, branch, or bee,
Or a beautiful rose;
But, I'm a mom and enjoy each hour
That past me hurriedly goes.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

After the Sunset

As we bend our way, toward the sunset of life,
We each have our share, of work, worry and strife.
We toil on each day, with an expectant soul,
As each hour brings us nearer, our sunset goal.

We smile tho' we've nothing but a thin dime,
As we ponder o'er joys that's in sunset time.
And keep pressing onward to that sunset day,
For we know our life here is fast fading away.

Some folk think it silly to share other's sorrow,
Just laugh and be merry, for there's no tomorrow,
But, we with faith know what's ahead and we've loads to gain,
When we reach the portals, just past sunset lane.  

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Keep Looking Up

This poem was really written for all of the family my grandmother would leave behind, but I do know that my Grandfather, Henry Stokes, took special comfort in reading it often in the 16 years he remained with us following his wife of 50 years' passing. Alan Stokes

Do not be too lonely, now that I've gone away.
But, have the faith to know we'll meet again some day.
Be thankful I was loaned to you
E'en though for a little while,
So after those few tears are spent
Learn again to smile.
This trip I take alone, tho' far away from you,
Is only temporary, some day you'll take it too!

Then I will clasp your hand in mind
As I recognize your face,
And we'll ever be together
In Heaven's glorious place.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Letter to a Friend

A Letter To A Friend

In loving and sad memory of my dear friend, Margaret, who had accepted Him, but, whose pain was too much for her to bear. 1939

Dear Friend,
It seems I can not stay my hand, 
But I must write to help you understand
That tho your days on earth will soon be o'er,
There are new joys that await you on the other shore.
Where there is no day or night, no pain or sorrow,
But endless joys abound for you, tomorrow.
Yes, joys to thrill your soul await you there, 
But stay!  You must, to Him your life lay bare.
You must to Him confess your sin, and let no blot remain.
Pray-"Lord, have mercy unto me a sinner," and you will be born again!
Take Him for your savior, from sin He will set you free.
Choose Salvation and live forever, thru all Eternity.


If I could only have know
You'd choose the easy way,
I would have grasped your hand in mine
And strenghened you that day!
I would have knelt and prayed all night,
So you, too could reach his throne,
I would have stayed your hand, if it meant my life,
If I had only known!

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)  Written in 1939

Tomorrow's Harvest

When the rain comes pourin' down,
It starts my heart a singin'-
For, I know there's loads o' joy
In the sun, tomorrow's bringin'

Even though the skies are dreary
An' the days are a-lookin' bleak,
Just keep a-thinkin' of the sunshine
That soon through the clouds will peek.

So sing along life's rainy paths,
A-laughin' all the while
'Cause there's got to be some raindrops
'Fore we 'preciate the smiles.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980) 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Henry Ebersole Home (1814)

The following article is taken from pages 357-361 of an old book called Hartline Story of Portage Prairie, written by Alma V. Hartline. It was found in a library archives in Berrien County, Michigan. The information provides a first hand account of what life was like for this family. Alan Stokes who entered the information online is the Grandson of Henry Ebersole (b. 1895) and the Great Great Grandson of Henry Ebersole (b. 1814) highlighted in this first person account of history.


Henry Ebersole was born in 1814, one source says Cumberland Co., Penn. and another says York Co., Penn.  Elizabeth (Housewerth) Ebersole was born in 1812 in Pennsylvania.  She was a daughter of Old John Housewerth, several of whose members came to Portage Prairie.  They were married in Pennsylvania and their daughter, Mary was born there in 1847.  They must have started to Michigan in 1849 or 1850 and their son, David, was born in Ohio, on the way, in 1850.

The Ebersoles acquired thirteen acres of land south of Nigger Lake.  The road to their land was a lane across the road from the J.E. Vite home on Curran Road.  They lived there for several years.  Ray Travis told me there was a foundation back there when he was a boy.  When my Grandfather Vite built his house on the Chicago Road in 1855, he and his dog boarded with the Ebersoles for a year.  He often told my father about those days.  He had an old white horse and a light wagon and he drove back there every day.

Henry Ebersole bought 60 acres of land in the northeast quarter of Section 23.  The north side of this land was the line between the Jewel site and that of Jenny Shaw.  It extended south along the York Road for 120 rods.  There was a house and barn on the south side of Bertrand and the Ebersole family lived there for some time.

As I said before, George G. Rough was living in the Old Morley Tavern in the early 1880's.  During that time he sold the main part of the tavern to Henry Ebersole and it was moved to his land and located on the present William Newsome home site.  They added an ell on the west side and it was a large house.  I remember being there with my father when I was a little girl.  They had a handsome fireplace in the front room.  It was made of polished wood and they were very proud of it, but as far as I know, they never had it connected to a chimney.  They had bought it hoping to put up a chimney, but it was only used for pictures and ornaments.  My grandparents were great friends of the Ebersoles.  Henry Vite's diary tells of visiting there and tells of "Mother" going to Betsy Ebersoles to a "Quilting".

Many stories are still told about Henry Ebersole.  He loved his Lord and lived his religion with joy and gusto.  His prayers were long and loud and he prayed at every meeting.  They tell of Mr. Ebersole having a loud session of prayer back in the field north of his house.  The fun loving Wells boys heard him and ran back to ask him if he was in trouble.  They said they thought he might have gotten into a trap.  He got up from his knees and said, "I was having a glorious session with my Lord, boys".  We wonder why we see so little demonstration of faith today.  Are we ashamed to let people know we are Christian?

Great revivals are held in our church at an early date and they are mentioned in Rev. Watson's book.  They seem to have been very especially noted during the 1870s and 1880s and from this great enthusiasm it was decided to build our new church in 1887.  Jack Rhoades told me he was standing in the aisle after the service ended one Sunday, and Henry Ebersole was in front of the church.  Suddenly he shouted and came running down the aisle swinging his arms.  Everyone ducked into the pews to let him go by and he ran the length of the aisle, then he shouted and leaped high in the air and completely cleared the steps as he went outside.  My father told of Mr. Ebersole getting the "Power" and rolling up in the carpet in the southwest corner of the church.  Henry wasn't the only one to get the "Power" and it didn't do the carpet a bit of good.  Poor Sammy Spangle, the janitor, would come the next morning and tack it down for the next meeting.  The ladies of the Missionary Society had managed to buy a carpet for the church, and they were a little disturbed by this.

The Ebersoles farmed all their usable land, but their acres had dwindled down to 30 by 1887.  They tried other ways to make a living.  One of their most successful ways was the making of brooms.  While they lived on the south side of the road, they built a "broom" house.  Hattie Burke told me it stood very close to the road, on a strong foundation with planks for siding.  They bought a broom making machine and raised their own broom corn.  They made brooms of excellent quality.  Besides this, they took the agency for Malena Salve in this area.  It was shipped from Pennsylvania and they sold it in small jars.  It was a good medication for cuts and burns, chapped hands and for lung infection.  I believe it is still on the market.  David took the agency for a set of religious books and sold a few as time went on.  David drove a horse and buggy, and sometimes carried all three of their products.  

As the years went on, Henry and Elizabeth became old and ailing.  This was a sad time for them and the people of the church would sometimes go over there to help care for them.  The first sadness of the family came in 1888 when their daughter, Mary, died.  She was 41 years old and had not married.  She was buried in our Cemetery.  Henry Ebersole died in 1891 and Elizabeth in 1893.  They were buried with Mary.  Rev. J.A. Frye preached Henry's funeral and Rev. Abraham Frye preached Elizabeth's.  These two men were brothers of Rev. Noah Frye, who was married to my father's sister, Mary Vite.

David Ebersole lived alone in the big house for a time and then married Maggie Shook of Buchanan.  She was a daughter of Joe Shook, a brother of Mose Shook of Curran Rd.  They were married by Rev. W.H. Wagner, and Mrs. Wagner and a Miss Goodenough stood up with them.  

David and Maggie had a son, Henry, born in 1895.  Maggie had a daughter, Violet, and she attend the Kansas School.  She attend one of the Kansas School reunions, and at that time she lived in northern Michigan.

David died in 1900 and left Maggie and her children alone and those were sad days for her.  In those days there was no financial assistance for widows.  My father was appointed guardian for both Maggie and young Henry.  The Evangelical Church had an orphanage at Flat Rock, Ohio, for children of that denomination.  

It was decided by the Judge of Probate and our church that Henry should be taken to Flat Rock.  It was a sad time for Maggie, but she finally agreed.  She and Henry walked to Buchanan and she had his picture taken.  I have one of those nice pictures.  Violet was sent to a School for Girls at Coldwater, Michigan.

As Henry's guardian, my father was delegated to take Henry to Flat Rock and my father decided to take me along.  Henry and I were both five years old and it seems as if my father was pretty brave to take two small children on a trip like that.  As I have said before, my father was always interested in his children having new experiences, and besides, it did not cost anything.  Henry and I could ride the cars "for free".

We drove old Ben to South Bend early in the morning of December 30, 1900 and put him in a livery stable under the Colfax Bridge and then took the Pennsylvania Railroad to Toledo.  We arrived in Flat Rock in the evening and a double carriage took us out to the Home. Both professor Messersmidt and his wife were there to meet us.  Their Christmas tree was still standing and at a service in the evening they gave me a tinse angel.  We were there all night and in the morning my father combed my hair.  After breakfast one of the older girls said she better comb my hair.  I told her my father had combed it, but she said she better comb it anyway.

We left for home at noon.  Henry had been very brave in leaving his mother and on the way down there, but when he saw us getting ready to leave, he broke down and cried bitterly.  My father said I should kiss him and I did.  Afterwards, my father said I was crying, too.  I cannot remember that, but I do remember I was surprised to see tears on my father's face.  We turned away and left a sad little boy.

The train got into South Bend and it was cold.  We rode on a bus to get down town.  My father left me with a colored man at the street level when he went down to get old Ben.  He told the man to get me into the buggy the best he could, when he came up with the buggy.  My father was sawing on the lines coming up the grade, but Ben wasn't slowing a bit.  Somehow the colored man got me over the buggy wheel onto the seat, and we whirled out onto Michigan Street.  That horse could travel.  I still remember seeing the sparks flying from his iron horseshoes, from the bricks on Navarre Street.  Old Ben was headed for home on a cold winter night.

Maggie stayed with my mother while we were gone, and they were up waiting for us.  Before I went in, my father said, "Don't tell Maggie he cried".  The first thing she said was, "Did Henry cry"?  I looked her squarely in the eye and told my first lie, and said, "no".  She looked quite crest fallen.

In 1958, I wrote to the Flat Rock Orphanage and asked how long Henry stayed there.  They wrote me a nice letter saying he remained there for seven years and then had been taken into the home of Charles Koebee, near Chelsea, Michigan, where he lived until he was twenty-one years old.  My parents were at Manchester, Michigan in about 1916 and Henry Ebersole came there with some boys.  After he grew up he worked at the Ford Plant and lived in Detroit.  He married and brought his wife to visit my parents in about 1935.

Maggie lived alone for a time on the small farm that had been left to her for her lifetime.  And then to everyones surprise, she got married.  As she told it to my father, a man came walking by her house one day and stopped for a drink of water.  This was George Radley and a few days later he stopped for another drink.  Very little was known about the Radley family.  He was a widower and had lived in Niles.  Maggie told my father she wanted to get married and he asked the Judge of the Probate to release him from his guardianship.  They were married on April 12, 1901 by Rev. Wm. J. Douglas of Buchanan.  Somehow they got along.  George worked by the day for the farmers sometimes, and Maggie picked berries and did other work.  I believe they were happy years for both of them.

Maggie died in 1916 and is buried on the Ebersole lot with her husband David, his sister and his parents.  Geo. Radley had a marker put on her grave with the words "Maggie, wife of George Radley, Born 1870, Died 1916".  When he was questioned about this he said, "She was my wife the longest".  There is a picture in the Buchanan library in the Jesse East Collection of a reunion at the Joe Shook home and it shows George and Maggie Radley.

Henry Ebersole came to see my father after his mother's funeral, and as he was of age, he made arrangements to sell his land.  My father bought it and owned it until he sold it to Arthur Newsome.  The old house was torn down and a modern house was built by the Newsome family.  I have a picture of the house taken after they started to demolish it.  William Newsome told me they discovered one side of the basement was several inches longer than the other.  Ike Wells told him two masons had built that basement.  One was a tall man and the other was short.  In the old days the masons often "stepped off" measurements for basement walls.  The men's steps were not equal in length.  

Arthur Newsome died in 1939 and Mrs. Rebecca Newsome, who was Amanda Bachman's aunt, died in 1959.   


Mildred Newsome- Married
William Newsome - Married Mrs. Goldie Andrews
Elsie Newsome - Married Otto Siewert
Bernice Newsome- Married Lyle Korn

If Ever

Kind words of thoughts of folks
Do fall so willingly from my pen.
Good thoughts for I do know
That there's some good in every man.

In each there's bound tuh be
E'en tho it's just a little spark
A love light burnin' way inside
For somethin' from the heart.

Perhaps fer fellow creature
Or fer a dog or cat,
Or fer a tiny crippled bird
Picked up in an old worn hat.

If I should ever reach the place
That I think all are wrong,
An' cease tuh carry in muh heart
fer fellow men, love's song--

Then I will know my goodly heart
has changed to blackest night--
An' that's when I sincerely hope
my pen will cease to write.

By Treva E. Stokes (1912-1980)

Though I like all of Grandma's poems, this is a personal favorite of mine (Alan Stokes).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Henry Stokes Funeral Sermon

Memorial Service Sermon for Henry T. Stokes

By Alan T. Stokes

December 13, 1995 at Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Note: This sermon was given in the form of a letter
Dear Grandpa:

Congratulations!  You're on an amazing journey that you've looked forward to for years.   Your eyes saw so many things over these last 92 years.  Grandpa, you had so many friends and were so loved by those who knew you and received blessings from your vibrant faith and zest for life.   In the movie, "The Wizard of Oz", Dorothy tells the tin man that a heart is not judged by how much you love others but by how much others love you.  Grandpa you had a heart of gold.  

This took me by surprise, even though I had some warning.   You use to say to me, "Everyone dies unexpectedly, nobody markes the day on their calendar."  Your son Bob's death brought deep sorrow to you last March, and your surgery on your gall bladder really set your health back.  I'm sorry that 1995, wasn't a very good year for you, but I'm sure that the joy you now have in heaven will make this the best year of your life.

I'm sure that you understand I'll have to cry about your absence.  You'll be missed so much.  There's an absence in this world without you.   Others are going to have to be more involved to fill your shoes of love and compassion that were spread so freely.   But I'm sure that you are enjoying yourself right now and would want us to celebrate your promotion to glory with joy.   After 92 years, you deserve a rest.   You deserve to be free from all pain.  You deserve to enter that land where they never cry.    And I'm sure you were ready to meet your Maker.

Grandpa, you and I both know all the people you want to meet in your new life (like your Mother, your Father, your wife of over 50 years Tippy, your son Bob, your young son Charles, your second wife Letha, and countless other friends).  But still our Lord Jesus is the first person you'll want to see.   This Christmas, your soul will personally get to say Happy Birthday to Jesus.   I'd have to be honest, I'm a little jealous.    Wish Jesus a Happy Birthday for me would you.

Grandpa, I thank God upon every remembrance of you.   I thank God for the wonders He accomplished in your life.    Jesus Christ gets all the glory.

You sure did have a full and active life.   Up until your illness in April, you worked at Caremore twice a week, drove your own car, lived independently, cooked your own meals, attended church, kept up your hobby of stamp collecting, watered your plants, and visited friends, especially spending a lot of time with your lady friend Hazel Sperry.

You provided for your five children:  Tom, Ducky, Bob, Dick, and Edith and worked hard to support them and look after them through the Great Depression and World Wars.   You provided a home and allowed your children's mother to stay at home with them.    I hope I will be able to support my family like you did.

You had a loving and faithful marriage of over 50 years to my Grandma Treva Stokes, who was called "Tippy".   That kind of marriage commitment is rare in this day and age.   I hope my marriage will be filled with the same loyal love and longevity as you had.

Grandpa, I remember that about 25 years ago, you were diagnosed with cancer and your doctor gave you just 6 months to live.   But amazingly the cancer went away.   I know this changed your life and you knew that God had spared you for a purpose.

A few years back a fire killed your brother TJ and his wife.   You were visiting them the night of the fire and had been sleeping in the very same room the fire started in.   You said the Holy Spirit warned you late at night to visit your other brother Paul across town and spend the night there.   I wouldn't doubt that.    I hope I can listen to the Holy Spirit like you did.  Grandpa, you always spoke so fondly and with such respect about the Holy Spirit.

Grandpa, the most important thing I remember about you is you were a man of faith.   You were a humble Christian.  Oftentimes I heard you pray at night, "Father, if we have sinned in any way this day, please forgive us."

Probably the most memorable written record of your faith was your personal covenant with the Lord.   I remember it was an idea you learned from your second wife Letha (you were always looking to learn new things from others), but you personalized it and adopted it wholeheartedly for yourself.

The subtitle is "What am I doing each day in preparation for eternity?"  I believe "From Here to Eternity" was the theme of your life the last 20 years.  Now you have entered your own experience of eternity.  Congratualtions, again!

Here's what you said in your personal covenant with the Lord.  "Lord, I give up my own purposes and plans.   All of my own desires, hope, and ambitions (whether they be fleshly or soulish) and accept Thy Will for my life.   I give myself, my life, my all--utterly to Thee to be Thine Forever.   I hand over to Thy keeping all my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart.   Work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost,--Now and forever,--For me to live is Christ.   Amen  Lovingly, Prayerfully for the souls and edification of believers.    Then you emphasized 4 passages of Scripture.   These Scriptures encourage me now that you have departed from us.

1.  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."

2.  Philippians 1:21 .   "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

3.  John 1:12 .   "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."  

4.  John 5:24   "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life; and shall not come unto condemnation, but is passed from death to life." 

Grandpa, your faith was not confined to a piece of paper, but your faith had feet and hands. When you got saved you went all out for souls. You had the gift of witnessing. I remember in 1988, you had the goal to reach 3 people to the Lord, and I'm sure that each year you had similar goals. Your dreams usually came true because they were so often God's dreams. You seemed to have a nack for reaching out to those who were drawing nearer to death but were not ready spiritually to die. God gave you the particularly difficult cases. When your time came you faced the difficulty of your own death with courage and peace.

You made such a difference in people's lives.   You always thought that after you helped lead that last person to Christ that you were supposed to, then God would take you home.  For this reason, you use to get nervous about dying immediately after leading one to Christ.  Then you'd settle down when you found that next "Conversion" project.  I wonder what the name of the very last person you led to Christ was.    Maybe the last person to accept Christ through your testimony will come to faith through your death.  That'd be fitting for your life, because you had a passion for souls in need.

You also had the gift of compassion. The Salvation Army, poor at The Saginaw Rescue Mission, and numerous residents of nursing homes, especially Westchester Village in Saginaw and most recently Caremore in Mt. Pleasant were the recepient of your Christian outreach and service.

Grandpa, I thank you because you shared your faith and encouraged me to listen to God's call and dedicate my life to being a minister. You made it clear that if you were 20 again, you yourself would want to be a minister of the Gospel.

I will always appreciate the Godly and honest advice that you offered me, and I know others will recall conversations you had with them about life. You sure were an honest and forthright man. My mind goes back to a letter I received from you dated April 11, 1988. At the close of the letter you said the following encouragement about a decision I was facing. These are your own words Grandpa.

"Regarding my honest findings; after much prayer. I will never attempt to rule anything or situation, when the real decision will be made by Almighty God, through the Holy Spirit--that is why I do not mourn my loved ones passing--I just mourn their absence. Therefore, I am praying that the Lord will guide you through the paths that will be best for your future and success in his kingdom. And if you do not have his complete blessings you have problems. So those are my prayers. Let God Make the Final Decisions. With Love, Grandpa."

You've left me and many others with a tremendous example. Grandma Tippy Stokes' poem, "Hold High the Torch" convicts us of the need for light in the world. In your absence it must come from those whose lives you touched.

Grandpa, I love you and I'm looking forward to the day we shall meet in eternity. I will always remember your favorite verse in the Holy Bible--"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."

Thank you Grandpa, Thank You God. Your Love Lives On!

Alan Stokes

Grandpa wouldn't want us to mourn his passing, only his absence.   Benediction