Joseph Taylor Stukes, 88, died on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, in Florence, SC. Born in Manning, SC, Joe was the son of the late Taylor Hudnall and Georgie Sauls Stukes.
Joe earned an undergraduate degree from Davidson College where he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, an M.A. from Emory University, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. One of his favorite quips was about his time on the Davidson College baseball team: “You know, I played shortstop, and wasn’t very good. My teammates nicknamed me ‘the Ancient Mariner.’ You know, ‘There was an Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one in three…’ ”
He was a professor of history at Francis Marion University where he was awarded Distinguished Professor. During his career he also taught at Lander College and Erskine College, where the Stukes Endowment was established in his honor. As a lecturer and traveler, he led over 70 tours to Europe and provided many speaking programs to clubs, churches and other organizations both locally and nationally, including 20 years of historical monologues through the Joe Stukes History Series. A room in the Bruce and Lee Library is named for him.
He served on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations and received the Governor’s Award in Humanities. He also served two terms as president of the Christian Action Council of S.C. and as chairman of the Florence City-County Bicentennial Commission. He received Keys to both the Cities of Florence, SC and Marion, SC. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a member of John Calvin Presbyterian Church. Joe was a member of the Florence Rotary Club, where he received both the President’s Award and the Four-Way Test Award.
He was predeceased by a son, Joseph Gordon Bonner Stukes, and a sister, Frances Stukes Skardon. He is survived by his wife, Courtney Randolph Stukes; three sons, Taylor Stukes of Atlanta, GA, Randy (Ruth) Stukes of Woodstock, GA, and George (Angela) Stukes of Florence; granddaughters, Betsy Stukes and Taylor Duffin; grandsons, J.T., Mick, Joseph and Thomas Stukes.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2016, at Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home in Florence. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at John Calvin Presbyterian Church. The family will hold a private burial at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to John Calvin Presbyterian Church, 2000 Marsh Ave., Florence, SC, 29505 or The Stukes Endowment at Erskine College, PO Box 338, Due West, SC, 29639.
Please sign the tribute wall for Dr. Stukes at the obituary section of www.stoudenmiredowling.com.
Published by The State on Jan. 14, 2016.