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Nathaniel Stokes, Hamlin Park principal, veteran; Oct. 11, 1940 -- June 15, 2011

Nathaniel Stokes of Buffalo, a veteran and former principal of Hamlin Park School 74, died Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a brief illness. He was 70.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Stokes joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1957 and was stationed at Camp Lejuene, N.C. After being honorably discharged in 1964, he returned home and opened the Club Soul Tavern on Jefferson Avenue. He later ran for the Common Council in the Masten District as a Democrat.

Mr. Stokes earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University at Buffalo and a master's degree in special education from Buffalo State College. In 1984, he was awarded a certificate of advanced study in education administration and supervision.

He began his teaching career in the Buffalo Public Schools in 1980 and also served on the Buffalo Board of Education.

During his career, he worked at several schools before being appointed principal of Hamlin Park School 74.

Mr. Stokes formed partnerships with the Hamlin Park Taxpayers Association as well as Canisius College, providing academic, social and motivational skills to elementary students. He retired in 2002.

Survivors include three sons, Nathaniel, Mark Linsey and Roderick Howard; two daughters, Tiffany Parker and Brezetta Stevenson; three brothers, Harry, Melvin and Robert; and two sisters, Rosie Thompson and Darlene Jackson.

A private service will be held.

[MAZZU]

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