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Martin County’s Straight Shooter- Dr. Walter Stokes May 23, 1898 – June 9, 1996

Growing up in rural Mohawk, Fla., Walter Stokes was an avid fisherman and hunter who learned early that the most precious resources must be protected. He left Florida to fight in two world wars, win an Olympic gold medal, graduate from medical school and law school and stand alongside Margaret Sanger in the fight for women’s rights. But he never forgot those early lessons. Stokes brought his crusade against overdevelopment to Martin County in 1963. A beach was named for him because he fought to ensure public access to beaches. He led a successful drive to designate the Savannas wetlands a state preserve. And he helped create and run the Environmental Studies Center Stokes also was a psychiatrist and author of three books, most notably, 45 Levels to Sexual Understanding and Enjoyment.
And he was an accomplished rifleman who won seven world championships in marksmanship and the Olympic gold medal in 1924. In 1993, he was inducted into the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame.
Many say that he did his life’s most important work in Florida, helping to keep Martin County unspoiled.
“My top ambition was to be a hunting and fishing guide in the fields of Florida,” Stokes said in 1993. “Everything else was frittering away my time.”
- STEPHEN KIEHL

Posted in Our Century December 19, 1999 at 1:41 pm.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. I am lucky and proud to have met Dr. Stokes in 1992 after reading
    about him in the Stuart News. I called and asked his woman caretaker for permission to talk to him muslim suicide bombers. He kindly agreed to see me. After I explained my idea of preventing the certitude that young people develop about God as they are brainwashed by religious teachers, environment, etc…
    Dr. Stokes smiled and looked into my eyes with his special blue eyes , said my idea was good but it would never happen.
    I wish he was alive to see what is happening in the teaching of religions in schools in many nations during the past decade.

    Steve Borkowski Jensen Beach


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