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Harry Collins Stokely passed away peacefully on March 31, 2020 at his home in Valentine. Memorial Mass will be 10:30am on Saturday, August 1 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Valentine with Rev. Abraham Kaduthodiyil as celebrant. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery with lunch following at the parish hall. The funeral will be livestreamed on Stokely Funeral Home Facebook page at facebook.com/stokelyfuneralhome.
Harry was born in Columbus, NE to Charles and Marie (Punch) Stokely on August 18, 1927. His father being a railroad man, Harry went to grade school in Genoa, Platte Center, Scotia, and Tarnov. His family then moved to Lincoln, NE and Harry graduated from Lincoln High in 1945. Harry was in the Navy when WWII ended and was honorably discharged in 1946. His next eight years were busy with training bird dogs from Georgia to Canada, a ranch hand in Wyoming and Nebraska, and then graduating from college at the University of Nebraska in 1954. His first extension job was Assistant County Agent in O’Neill, NE from June of 1954 to July 1955. Harry met Helen Engler, while they were both working at the courthouse. They were then married on August 3, 1955. In August of 1955, he and his new bride moved to Mullen where he was County Agent until they moved to Valentine in March of 1958.
In Valentine Harry and Helen welcomed eight children: Tom, Mary Helen, Joe, Theresa, Bill, Jim, John, and Matt. Harry was a Cherry County Extension Agent for 28 years and retired December 31st, 1986. After his retirement, Harry was a range management consultant. He continued to enjoy watching horse races, hunting, fishing, training his bird dogs, and following baseball with his grandchildren. Harry was an active member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church for over 60 years. He served as a minister of the word and was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus.
Survivors include his wife Helen of nearly 65 years, children: Tom (Susan), Joe (Nevada), Theresa (Dennis May), Bill (Stasia), Jim, John, and Matt (Rick McFayden). Along with numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Renee Spurlock.
He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Mary Helen, and brothers: Charles, Alan, and Paul.