Gerald G. Stokes, a retired farmer-rancher died of natural causes on Jan. 19 at Teton Nursing Home in Choteau.
Vigil services were held on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and Funeral Mass on Jan. 23 at 11 a.m., both at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Choteau. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder Jensen Funeral Home of Choteau and private burial of his ashes will follow at the family plot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Conrad.
Gerald was born at the family home near Valier on Aug. 26, 1921 to T. P. and Edna (Armstrong) Stokes. He attended rural elementary school near the family farm and graduated from Conrad High School in 1939.
Gerald enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp in July 1942 and trained as a top turret gunner and flight engineer in a B-17 at the gunnery school at the Las Vegas Army Air Field. He was then assigned as an instructor in the school until December of 1944 when he transferred to Amarillo Texas Air Force Base for re-training on B-29s and again was an instructor in the school until being discharged in December of 1945.
Gerald and Mary Grady were married at St. Ann’s Cathedral in Great Falls in April 1944, and moved to a ranch near Dupuyer after Gerald’s discharge. They sold this ranch and purchased land adjacent to Pendroy in December 1957. In 1990, they retired and moved to Choteau.
Gerald served a number of terms on the Pendroy School Board of Directors and on the Board of the Choteau High School District. He was a lifetime member of Choteau American Legion and active in Choteau Kiwanis Club, the Teton Food Pantry and St. Joseph’s Building and Maintenance.
Survivors include his wife, Mary of the family home; daughters Patricia (Fleet) Truman of Anchorage, Alaska and Rosemarie DeRuwe of Walla Walla, Wash.; sons Gerald (Karen) Stokes Jr. of San Mateo, Calif., T. P. (Lynda) Stokes II of Selah, Wash. and Robert (Debbie) Stokes of Pendroy; son-in-law: Larry Brownell of Conrad; and sister, Fern Pemberton of Fort Meyers, Fla. Mary and Gerald have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in ten different states.
He was preceded in death by his son Paul; daughter Kathleen Brownell; his parents; brothers Parley and Tom; and sisters Faye and Shirley.
Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com .