Memorial Services Held for Longtime Sing, Sports Announcer George Stokes

July 15, 2001
News Photo 28Dr. George Stokes.

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Memorial services were held Monday, July 16, at Baylor University's Miller Chapel for retired speech communications professor George Stokes, who died Saturday, July 14, at a Waco hospital.

Dr. Burt Burleson led the memorial service, which was followed by a private family service at Oakwood Cemetery.

Stokes, 83, was often referred to as the "Voice of Baylor" for the many years he spent as the public address announcer for Baylor football and basketball games and master of ceremonies for All University Sing and Pigskin Revue. He announced nearly every Baylor football game at Baylor Stadium for 26 years until he hung up the microphone in 1987.

As the affable master of ceremonies for Sing for 30 years and Pigskin emcee for four decades, Stokes became as much of a tradition behind the microphone as the musical performances themselves. He emceed his final Sing and Pigskin in 1998.

Stokes spent 31 years at Baylor, during which time he served as director of broadcasting, director of the Baylor Alumni Association and head of the department of communication studies' speech department. In 1978, he earned recognition as an "Outstanding Professor" at Baylor.

Stokes was born April 12, 1918, in Paducah, Texas. A graduate of Plainview High School, he earned his bachelor's degree in voice from West Texas State University in Canyon, a master's degree in speech from Baylor and his doctorate from Northwestern University. In August 1941, he was drafted into military service and served during World War II in the African and European theaters. He also was a member of the force preparing for a beach invasion of Japan, a plan that was canceled when Japan surrendered, ending the war.

An active member of the community, Stokes served on the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center board of trustees, the board of the Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross and for more than 20 years on the board of the Paisano Baptist Encampment in the Davis Mountains. He also recently worked with Kurt Kaiser on a CD of music produced by the Baylor Alumni Association and together with his wife, sang for numerous church, club and community service organizations.

Stokes is survived by his wife, Katy, whom he met and married while studying for his master's degree at Baylor; daughters, Polly and her husband Dick Barnes of Jackson, Miss., and Chris and her husband Jim Mullens of Dallas; four grandchildren; and his mother, Suella Stokes of San Angelo.

Memorials may be made to Dayspring Baptist Church or Baylor University.

Note to Media: A high-resolution photo of Dr. Stokes is available for use by media organizations; select the photo thumbnail at the right. Please address questions to Baylor Photography, (254) 710-3841.

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