AGNES THOMAS STOKES was born in Burke County, Georgia, on October 10, 1928, to Dona Keepler Thomas and Ulysses Thomas. Agnes was the fourth of six siblings: Ida Thomas (deceased), Tom Edward Thomas (deceased), Oliver B. Thomas (deceased), Ulysses Thomas (deceased), Bernice T. Simmons, and Joseph Thomas. Agnes was baptized at age eight along with Cleveland Stokes, Sr., who later became her husband. They became part of the Blount Chapel Baptist Church Family. She was a part of this serving church for eighty-four years. She was elected church clerk in 1966 after her father became ill and could no longer continue serving. Sister Stokes served as secretary for more than four decades, until she was called from labor to reward. Because her expertise in church procedures and functions was beneficial, the pastor appointed her as a deaconess around 1985. Agnes married the late Cleveland Stokes, Sr. in 1945, and were united for sixty and a half years until his death in 2006. Ten children were born to this union, five sons, and five daughters, one daughter, Florie Stokes preceded her in death. Agnes attended culinary school at Swainsboro Technical College. She was a stay at home wife and mom until her youngest child entered school. She began work in the cafeteria with the Burke County School System. Faculty members would visit to eat her meals or take food with them. She was well-known for her cinnamon rolls and yeast bread. She was promoted to Nutritional Manager and retired after twenty-two years of service. Since retirement, she enjoyed serving God, spending time with family, making designer quilts, shopping, and cultivating her flowers. She was greatly loved by family, friends, and the surrounding community in which she resided. Those left to cherish her loving memory are: five sons, Cleveland Stokes, Jr. of Hephzibah, GA, Eddie (Bertha) Stokes of Augusta, GA, Frank Stokes of Atlanta, GA, Allen Stokes of Stone Mountain, GA, and Carl Stokes of Waynesboro, GA; four daughters, Dona (Andrew) Cleveland of Queens, NY, Agnes S. Dixon of Hephzibah, GA, Alberta (Chester) Wilson of Augusta, GA, and Lela Stokes of Waynesboro, GA; two siblings, Bernice Simmons of Bronx, NY, and Joseph Thomas of Louisville, GA; fifteen grandchildren; twenty-six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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