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Monday, March 13, 2023

Beryl N. Stokes Jr.

Beryl N. Stokes, Jr. “Sonny” passed away peacefully at his home in Leesburg on Friday March 10, 2023. He was where he wanted to be with his dog Rowdy and family by his side. He was born October 30, 1933 in Lake Panasoffkee to Beryl Newton Stokes and Ethyl Parker Stokes, and was the devoted widower of his wife of many years, Jo Anne Ayers Stokes. Beryl is survived by his children Toni Stokes Marshall, Lauren Stokes-McClurg (Leroy) and Sandy Stokes (Karen) who will mourn his loss forever. He dearly loved all of his grandchildren, Meagan, Ben, Cady, Courtney, Chelsea, and Sasha as well as his great grandchildren.

Beryl attended Leesburg High School and remained close to his classmates until the end of his life. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Florida and was a pilot in the Air Force. Travel was one of his passions and he almost achieved his goal of sleeping in every time zone across the planet. He was an astute businessman dedicating most of his life to the family business his father founded.

After retiring from Stokes Fish Company, Beryl ventured into the world of thoroughbred racing. He loved the horses passionately. Mostly, he loved the people he met and they returned that love and respect for him threefold. It was through his venture into that world that one could see his true character, his kindness and fairness and integrity. He built a legacy because that was who he was.

Like Jody, he loved his St. James Episcopal church and the friends he made through a lifetime. It was his place of solace and comfort. And a place he could feel close to God.

He was a loving and optimistic man who led a glorious life. He touched so many lives in deep and important ways. Most of all he would want us to be happy we knew him.

Godspeed to our sweet, funny, one-of-a-kind father.

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