Richard Michael Cortlandt Stokes
Richard Michael Cortlandt Stokes
  • March 8, 1945 - May 12, 2017
  • North Carolina

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Richard Michael Cortlandt Stokes, better known to all as Mike Stokes, passed away at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC on May 12, 2017. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He leaves behind his wife and best friend of 48 years, Geraldine, and his two sons, Nicholas and Richard, as well as five grandchildren, Eleanor, William, Ava, Gavin and Lily.

A celebration of Mike's life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, May 21, 2017, Hanes Lineberry North Elm Lineberry Center, 515 North Elm Street. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

Born March 8, 1945 in Par, Cornwall, England, Mike was the eldest son of William George Cortlandt Stokes and Dorothy Wendy Acton-Davis Stokes. He is survived by his fraternal twin brother, Peter and his younger sister, Sally, both of whom live in England.

Mike grew up in South England and attended Canford School. He went to Bristol University to study languages and graduated with his degree in French, German and Economics. Mike enjoyed learning foreign languages and got to use them regularly throughout his business career.

He joined ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) straight out of University and started as a management trainee. In 1968, while working for ICI, he met Geraldine at the Cairn Hotel in Harrogate, N.Yorkshire, England. Geraldine described him as quite charming and quite persistent. In 1969 they were engaged and moved to South Africa with Mike's job. They were married in Johannesburg on June 27, 1969.

Mike's career at ICI took him and the family to many interesting and varied destinations, including living in Japan, London, Harrogate and eventually settling in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. Mike and Geraldine made many lasting friendships in each of these places. Mike's last position with ICI was running the ICI Fibres North America division in Greensboro. In 1994 Mike joined THEM International, also based in Greensboro, where he worked up until March 2017. His ICI and THEM families have always stayed close to him and will miss him greatly.

Mike will be remembered for his generous spirit and his quick wit. He was often the life and soul of the party, whether it was the legendary neighborhood get-togethers of Leadhall View in Harrogate, or the July 4th celebrations at Lake Jeanette in Greensboro. He loved boating and spent many hours on the water at Belews Lake. He also loved making model boats, a hobby he learned from his father.

He found ways to give back to the community, including serving in the Greensboro Rotary Club and he was a great supporter of the Greensboro SPCA. He was also involved in re-enacting Revolutionary War battles at Guilford Courthouse.

Dad/Gramps leaves many fond memories for his family. Nick and Rich remember the yearly family vacations to different countries in Europe (France, Greece, Portugal) where something would inevitably go awry. The grand-kids remember the joy Gramps took in celebrating Christmas with them and rides around the grounds in his lawn-mower trailer. Geraldine remembers Mike's love of life and his abiding love for her.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Greensboro SPCA, 3163 Hines Chapel Road, Greensboro, NC 27405.