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Obituary for Ernestine Stokes

Ernestine Stokes
Ernestine Perry Stokes was born on June 25, 1942 in Halifax, NC to the late Ernest and Katie Perry of Chesapeake, Virginia. Ernestine Perry Stokes went home to be with the Lord on Friday, March 17, 2017 at Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center.

She received her education in the Halifax Public School System. She married the late Herman Lawton in the 1960’s and relocated to Lewes, Delaware.

Ernestine was the eldest of fifteen children and was like a mother to her younger siblings.

Ernestine was known for preparing delicious southern meals and enjoyed entertaining family and friends in her home. In addition, she enjoyed fishing and telling many family cultural stories to all who would listen. Ernestine was always surrounded by children and was a loving, caring and giving person. On many occasions, she would put others before herself.

For the last 10 years, Ernestine and her husband Henry attended St. John 2nd Baptist Church. Together, they attended all of the church’s functions until her health began to fail.

Ernestine leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband Henry Stokes; her children, Michael Lawton and his wife Inger of Camden, DE; Jeffery Tyrone Lawton and his wife Allison of Gambrills, MD; step daughter, Aquilla Moore (James) of Fort Hood, TX; six grandchildren, D’Angelo Eley of Millsboro, DE, Ashley Lawton Harris (Michael) of Whitsette, NC, Ciara Lawton Hill (Anthony) of Bowie, MD, Chasny K. Lawton of Hanover, MD, Sophia P. Lawton of Gambrills, MD and Blake A. Lawton of Gambrills, MD; three great-grandchildren, Brianna Eley, Sebastian Harris and Nicholas Harris and six step-grandchildren. She is survived by two brothers, Lawrence Perry (Linda) of Chesapeake, VA, and Edward Perry of Portsmouth, VA; Six sisters, Mary Finney (Lawrence) of Lewes, DE, Verlia M. Cherry (late husband Carlton) of Chesapeake, VA, Sharon Perry of Madison, GA, Andrea M. Kennedy (Vincent) of Portsmouth, VA, Brenda Mellerson (Daniel) of Chesapeake, VA and Barbara Bryant (Roy) of Chesapeake, VA.

She was preceded in death by one sister, Diane Kennedy; and five brothers Albert, Robert, James, Jessie and Herbert Perry.

Ernestine had a special appreciation for her Aunts Dorothy Noise of Petersburg, VA, Lula M. Purvis of Bennettsville, SC and Dorothy Mae Ross of Richmond, VA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Ernestine admired her sisters-in-law, Lois Dorsey of Millsboro, DE and Linda Perry of Chesapeake, VA; and two special brothers-in-law, Spencer Kennedy and Harold Stokes of Lewes, DE.

Ernestine was the temporary guardian and cherished her niece Selina Moss of Raleigh, NC. She adored her niece Shawntel Kennedy of Fayetteville, NC and her niece Anna Harmon of Bear, DE.

She was blessed to have two special friends for over 50 years, Reverend Annie J. Custis of Lewes, DE and Elnora Smith of Portsmouth, VA. Reverend Custis and Elnora Smith were Ernestine’s best friends who she valued in life. They had fun, laughed, cried and prayed together on many occasions.
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