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.
7 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.