Ruth Barclay Stokes, age 98, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family at her Newport, Rhode Island home on March 21 of natural causes. Ruth was born in Newport on January 30, 1923, daughter of the late George Nicholas Barclay and Bessie Forrester Barclay. She attended local Newport public schools, graduating from Rogers High School in 1941, and married Archie William Stokes in September of the same year.
During World War II, while her husband and three brothers served overseas, she worked at the U.S. Torpedo Station at Goat Island and then followed with a thirty-year career with General Electric, mostly at the Thames Street Wiring Devices Plant. Ruth was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She was a founding member of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and officer with the Newport Branch NAACP. Ruth is fondly remembered for her dedication to her family, sense of humor, sweet tooth, and her passion for gardening.
She is survived by her beloved children Malcolm Stokes of Ohio, George Stokes of North Carolina, and Keith Stokes of Newport. She is also survived by her loving daughter-in-laws, Theresa Guzman Stokes of Newport and Denise Stokes of North Carolina. She had many loving grandchildren, including Ashley, Keith, Jordan and Gabrielle Stokes of Newport, Shelly Stokes Sweatt of Connecticut, and Keith Stokes, Alexis Stokes, Danielle Stokes Poujade, Alex Stokes, Jessup Stokes, McKenzie Stokes, along with great-grandchildren Zoe, Simone, Mateo, Ashlee, Meghan, and two great, great-grandchildren.
Calling hours are respectfully omitted. Burial will be private at the family plot within the God’s Little Acre section of Newport’s Common Burying Ground. In lieu of flowers, Ruth’s wish is that memorial contributions may be made to the Newport Branch NAACP, 72 Dr Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI 02840, and the Visiting Nurses of Newport and Bristol Counties, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.
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