AIKEN, SC: Alexandra Coxe Stokes Thomas (aka “Sandra”) left us on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022. She was with her children, Frances Patterson Wheeler Morrison (aka “Tearson”) and John Alexander Thomas at the time of her passing.
Sandra was born June 23rd, 1948 and was raised as the only child of her parents, Alexander Coxe Stokes and Frances Earle Patterson Stokes, in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. She grew up on White Horse Farm- a part of the Radnor Hunt Country- and was up on a pony before she could even walk. Her early years were spent at Pony Club, learning at the Shipley School, and growing in her mastery of riding while also cheering on her father’s horses at Saratoga Springs Racetrack. Sandra was AHSA National Reserve Hunter Champion in 1964, also winning the Medal and Maclay and a Championship at Devon on her beloved “Miss Ennobled”. All of this was accomplished prior to her highschool graduation from the Booth School in June of 1966.
The godchild of Cortright and Ella “Tootie” Wetherill, Sandra was given a gala debutante ball for 1000 friends and family members at the Bellvue-Strafford on December 22, 1966 in a dress designed by Scaasi himself. It is one of the highlights of her younger life. In 1968 she graduated Dean’s List with Honors from Garland Junior College in Boston, Massachusetts, with her teaching degree in Early Childhood Education before marrying in 1971. She taught Kindergarten and 1st Grade at the Tarleton School and was especially proud of her students being able to tell the difference between a Monet and a Manet when they toured through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sandra was very involved in many charitable organizations in Philadelphia, supporting horse shows, racing, the Arts and local hospitals- all of which carried over throughout her 73 years.
Sandra moved from the Philadelphia area in 1977 with her 2 and a half year old daughter, Tearson, to Aiken, South Carolina, to continue her pursuit of riding. She instilled that love of horses in her daughter, mentoring and then coaching her on her ponies to National Championships in 3 different years. Her son John was born in 1982 and accompanied the two up and down the East Coast to horse show venues across 8 states.
Aiken was Sandra’s home for 45 years (though she never let you forget that she was from Philadelphia). It was here that she was a cub scout leader for son, John, and supporter of both Aiken Day School and Aiken Preparatory School for both of her children. Sandra was an avid contributor, donor and gave generously of her time to the Hitchcock Woods, the Aiken Steeplechase, Aiken Horse Park and served for a number of years on the Board of Aiken Center for the Arts. She never met an animal she didn’t love and also made significant contributions to the local SPCA and to Danny and Ron’s Rescue in Camden, SC. Sandra loved a game of bridge and was a master backgammon player, occasionally showing off her skills at her club at the Green Boundary. Sandra read at least four best selling novels a week, never missed a morning sudoku and needlepointed the most beautiful gifts for friends and family members. Sandra leaves behind 4 grandchildren- Aiden Alexander Morrison (20) and Easton Edward Morrison (11) both in Pennsylvania; and Tyler James Thomas (24) and Kyle Dustin Thomas (20) both in Oregon.
The Board of Directors at Bruce’s Field wrote this about Sandra’s passing, “Sandra was a steadfast supporter of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation, serving on the Aiken Charity Horse Show organizing committee. During the Shows, Sandra would most often be spotted by the pony ring cheering the youngest riders on and sharing a few kind words with them. Sandra always insisted on providing the show office with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers to the delight of the horse show staff. She would even come mid-week to freshen the water and fluff the arrangements herself. The trophy table always looked better, and the ferns and geraniums always looked brighter with a little move here or there of the potted plants thanks to her quick eye and nimble touch. We will forever be grateful to Sandra for her staunch loyalty to our mission, love for Bruce’s Field and her enduring support of the Park.”
We hope you are dancing with the friends who left before you, Sandra, and look forward to granting your wishes, not for a funeral, but for a huge “Celebration of Life” party to be held on Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at the Constantine House, 3406 Richland Ave W, Aiken, SC 29801 from 5:30-8:30pm. All are welcome, but RSVPs are requested in order to have a head count- please respond with your name and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We very much hope that all who knew and loved Sandra over the last 73 years will come to toast her and enjoy the many photos and scrapbooks amassed during her full and wonderful life.
In Lieu of flowers, please make donations in Sandra’s honor to The Hitchcock Woods Foundation www.hitchcockwoods.org , Aiken Center for the Arts www.aikencenterforthearts.org or The Aiken Horse Park www.aikenhorsepark.org.
The Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 211 Park Ave., SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803.649.6234), has charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting www.georgefuneralhomes.com.