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Retired Massachusetts Episopalian Bishop Dies

November 9, 1986

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) _ Anson Phelps Stokes Jr., retired Episcopalian bishop of Massachusetts and 1960s civil rights activist, died after a long illness. He was 81.

Stokes, who stepped down in 1970 after 14 years as head of the diocese, died at his home Friday.

He was an ardent foe of racial discrimination and a leader in the civil rights struggle and ecumenical movement in Massachusetts.

Born in New Haven, Conn., he graduated from Yale University in 1927, attended Episcopal Theological School and was ordained a priest in 1933.

He served as chairman of the Massachusetts Council of Churches’ Commission on Church and Race, which was formed in 1960. He was one of 28 white and black Episcopal priests from across the nation who embarked in 1961 on a ″prayer pilgrimage″ across the country to protest segregation in the church.

After serving in parishes in Shreveport, La., Columbus, Ohio, Honolulu and New York City, became bishop coadjunctor of the Massachusetts diocese in 1954 and was installed as bishop two years later.

He is survived by his wife, Hope Procter, two daughters, a brother and two grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

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