Obituaries & Tributes
Thomas James Stokes, Jr.
date of birth July 1 1939
date of death November 19 2019
Tom Stokes, Jr. passed away peacefully in his home November 19, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by close friends and his beloved dog, Sugar. In his 80 years, he lived a full life and touched the lives of many people.
Tom was born in Astoria Oregon, July 1, 1939 to Helen and Thomas Stokes. After graduating from Astoria High School, he served in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB in Texas and Thule AFB in Greenland. Following his military service, Tom returned to San Antonio to earn his bachelors and masters degrees in psychology at St Mary's University in 1971. In 1988, Tom fulfilled a lifelong goal when he earned his Psy.D. from Pacific University in Forest Grove.
Tom was dedicated to the idea that all people have value, potential and choice. He was exceptionally gifted at helping people navigate through their personal challenges and improve their lives. His four decade career included working with people from all walks of life and spanned clinical psychology, chemical dependency, trauma and crisis management, and private practice. Tom loved the many years of work at Providence Saint Vincent hospital in Oregon and all of the many employees he interacted with over the years. Tom was touched by the compassion of so many from the hospital to the gym to the credit union that reached out to him.
In the early 1970’s, Tom started a Big Brothers Big Sisters agency while teaching at Clatsop County Community College. He and his Little Brother became lifelong friends. Tom’s support resulted in his Little Brother attending university, growing the Portland/Vancouver Big Brother Big Sister agency that serves thousands of children, and carrying on Tom’s legacy with his own Little Brother.
A natural showman, Tom drew people to him wherever he went. Describing himself as an “extrovert with a capital E”, Tom learned to play piano entirely by ear as a boy and over the years went on to entertain people in piano bars across the country.
Dr. Stokes believed that living a successful life requires having healthy relationships, first with oneself and then with others. He believed that the core component to building healthy relationships is love and acceptance. In 2013, Tom published his book “Putting Love First” to share his insights and further his work in an inspirational and actionable way. After Toms passing it has been said we have one more bright star in the heavens to guide us.
In Lieu of flowers please donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest. http://www.bbbsnorthwest.org 503-249-4859.
25 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Alex Laws Tom you are free and at rest. Thank you for the life lessons.
Candle lit by Charles Evans Thank you Tom for everything. You will never be forgotten.
Candle lit by Joi Knowles So thankful I had the chance to meet Tom. He will be missed. ❤️
Candle lit by Phyllis King A lovely human being who made a huge difference in my life. I will miss him, but always be grateful for his impact on my life.
Candle lit by Marianne Kandel Tom, thank you for being there to urge me and inspire me at a critical point in my life. That energy has been paid forward many times—your candle will continue to burn.
Candle lit by Steve O’Hollaren Tom played a significant role in my sobriety.
Candle lit by Gary Bondurant
Candle lit by Jan Holloway Tom was a neighbor and friend for 30 years. He helped me through grief twice and it was an honor to be there for him at his life’s end.
Candle lit by Julie Novinger Miss you my dear friend.
Candle lit by Char Kimber Thank you for all your love and support during my difficult times. You will always be with me.
Candle lit by Scott McQuary Tom , you are in the hearts of all the lives you touched ,Thankyou for touching mine.
Candle lit by Pat Osborn My dearest, most affirming friend for 50 years, your gift of love will never be forgotten.
Candle lit by Dimitrios zourkos Tom was a really great friend of mine as he was to many of you. He was my mentor and often times encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I often times looked at him like a father figure. He will be so sadly missed.
Candle lit by Amy Haecker To my beloved mentor and “Portland Dad,” you will be in our hearts forever.
Candle lit by Ron Withrow Tom you were a great presence in my Life for almost 30 Years.Thank You for your love and Friendship.You are with The Angels and Your beloved Bill Now..Your always with me.
Candle lit by Margie Schwinn Thank you my brother from another mother for being in my life and sharing your love and understanding. You taught me so much just by being you! You are my North star. Please given Ms Helen a big hug for me. Hugs, M
Candle lit by Adalberto Tom - what an amazing friend you were to me . I just learned of your passing and I’m heartbroken. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.
Candle lit by Duncan Shiels I have had the pleasure of knowing Tom and absorbing his insight for the past 10 years. I’ve been in ongoing therapy for most of my life and finding the right match was always a challenge. After being introduced to Tom, I felt a sense of comfort in expressing some of my deepest, troubled emotions. Tom was not only available in sessions, he would extend his time if needed for emergency visits and phone calls. He truly, was completely selfless. I miss him...
Candle lit by Kathy McClelland He spread so much love and light . He will be much missed and I will smile when I think of his wonderful laugh.
Candle lit by Sherri Dawn Bennett My dearest Tom, I was heartbroken when I learned of you passing. You were part of my life for over 37 years and I will miss you in ways you will never imagine. So much of who I am came from your loving friendship. I have on my desk framed a note that says “you could have not asked for a more loving Daughter.” I cherished it when you sent it and I will cherish my memories of you, your parents, Kelli Kim and Mark. I have no doubt you are with Bill and Frank and the many friends and family who went before you! God Speed my dear friend until we meet again, Sherri Dawn Bennett ... and the only measure of the life that live will be the love you leave behind when your gone ....
Candle lit by Eileen Myers My dearest friend and Tata. You have left an indelible mark on my soul. Como te extraño.
Candle lit by Sarah G We were neighbors of Tom’s for about 5 years. He was the sweetest, kindest neighbor. I still remember the evening I was at home with my toddler, I was tired, had worked all day, My husband was out at a late class for grad school and I hadn’t had a chance to think about what I was going to make for dinner. Magically, Tom appeared at my front door with a container of some delicious navy bean soup he had made. I was heartbroken the day he came over and told me he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and we were sad to leave him when we moved. He will be missed greatly!
Candle lit by Patricia Tom, I met you at Cedar Hills Chemical Dependency Clinic. You made work fun. I always felt honored when you asked me to go out to get coffee so many mornings. There were alot of nice people there. You stood out, as I bet you did everywhere you went in life....and after Goodbye friend Patty
Candle lit by Nancy Tom, you have changed my life for the better. Your words of wisdom will will continue to guide me. I will forever live my life asking myself “What would Tom do/say?”