Cover photo for David Stokes's Obituary
1959 David 2017

David Stokes

May 1, 1959 — January 8, 2017

David Wayne Stokes was born on May 1, 1959 in Long Beach, California to Annette and Lewis Stokes, the first of five children. He grew up in Garden Grove, attended Pacifica High School, then Golden West College, accompanying various high school and institute choirs on the piano. As a young boy, he became that rare child who never had to be reminded to practice the piano, but occasionally was asked to stop already! He won a piano competition at the age of 10. When he was 16, intrigued by the organ at his local church building, he started pushing the pedals and buttons to see how it worked. At that moment, a church leader looked in the chapel and exclaimed "You play the organ? Great!" David was immediately called to be the ward organist and had to quickly teach himself how to play, beginning the lifelong passion to play the organ anytime and anywhere he could.

David served a Finland Helsinki LDS mission from 1978-80, where he also took the opportunity to try out several church organs. His love for computer programming and technology started with one of the oldest versions of an Apple computer in the family room of his home where he spent hours delving into its mysteries. After his mission, he combined his love of technology and musical skills to the synthesizer, and performed on the southern California LDS young adult dance circuit with some of his friends in a band called Paradox. It was during that time, that he met Jayne Toronto, a transplanted Salt Lake City girl, in an unlikely venue for him- a party, something he usually tried to avoid. A friend of his current girlfriend, who he had just sent on a mission, invited him to a house-warming party. He was reluctant to go until he heard the phrase, "My roommate is a former beauty queen." So he made the hour long drive from Orange County to L.A. to meet her. As soon as he caught sight of her, he stuck by her side the entire evening and Jayne didn't budge either. When David said he was lucky to find her, Jayne reminded him that she had to travel 700 miles to find the man of her dreams, and he only had to drive an hour. After courting for a year, they were married November 10, 1984 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

A devoted father to their five boys, David passed on his love for the gospel, music, technology, and science-fiction, while also instilling in them a desire for thoughtful living and self-improvement through word and example. His love of music, and his many acts of service and selflessness were a great positive influence on them.

He worked tirelessly for his family to make a living with his computer-based business. Despite the long hours, he still managed to find time to spend with his family. He and his sweetheart made an effort to go on weekly dates. Whether they were collaborating on his website development, doing household repairs, shopping, or running mundane errands, he loved to spend as much time as possible with her. He also loved to spend one-on-one time with his boys as well as have group talks with them. Music-related activities usually involved the boys singing in a choir or playing in a recital that he accompanied. A particular favorite of everyone was a two year long marathon watching all the Star Trek TV episodes and movies ever made.

David's passion for the organ fueled his desire to hone his craft and improve the quality of music he performed. He would fully devote his time, talents, love and attention to whatever he focused on. He took private lessons, taught organ workshops and donated his time accompanying institute choirs for 12 years, giving institute students the opportunity to sing even more beautiful arrangements only made possible with organ accompaniment.

Performing with choirs in ward buildings, stake centers, LDS institutes of religion, the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and two Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication sessions, David finally realized his lifelong dream of playing the Tabernacle organ for young adult firesides and other types of performances. David's love of rock and roll and electronic keyboards had him joining the local band, Stark Raven, as their keyboardist for several years. Wherever his musical talents took him, his family, and especially his wife, enjoyed supporting him at his performances. His final performance on the Tabernacle organ was last September with the Lyceum Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying a large choir. It was the final performance of his life as health-related issues deprived him of the ability to play the organ.

Although he worried about being a good enough father or husband, he became the person that his family needed and loved. He was truly an example of perseverance and love, and is a person that has endured well to the end.

He is survived by his beloved wife and sweetheart, Jayne Marie Toronto Stokes, his sons Allan, Braden, Ethan, Sawyer and Whittaker, his mother Annette, brothers Michael (Arlene) and Brian (Jen), sisters Lori (Kyle) McCluskey and Luanne (Scott) Watson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers donations can be accepted at
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