CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Last weekend, the Chesapeake community lost an integral part of their athletic association – their president and founder Geral Stukes. Family members say she passed away peacefully on September 19, with her loved ones nearby.
Loved ones say her passing has had a huge impact on everyone who knew her, as well as the entire Chesapeake community. Local residents are now working to ensure that her memory will never be forgotten.
“We wouldn’t be here without her,” said the Chesapeake Wolverines football commissioner, Patrick Ace.
On Friday evening, her family, friends and former staff members held a candlelight vigil at the Hugo Owens Middle School football field. During the vigil, they shared their favorite memories of her, as well as walked a lap around the football field in her honor.
The Chesapeake Wolverines, a youth nonprofit football organization, was lead by Stukes since 2005.
“She left a legacy of this football organization, Chesapeake Wolverines, here in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake. We’re here to honor her so that we can continue to keep her legacy alive,” said her daughter, Catrice Stukes.
Those who knew her best described her as a dedicated person who would always go the extra mile to get tasks done.
One of Stukes’s biggest goals was to collected enough funds to get a scoreboard set up on the football field, as well as have the concessions remolded. She was able to complete both and even made sure to implement sports banquets for football players and cheerleaders.
Stukes also served the community as a board member for the Chesapeake Parks & Rec and Tourism Advisory, as well as President of the Camelot Recreation Football league for over 20 years.
“My mother means nothing but love. Even the love she had for us is the love she shared in her community and so that’s what I want her to be remembered for – just being a loving person,” added her daughter. “She will definitely be missed by all.”