Command Sgt. Maj. Keith A. Stokley, 48, of Hainesport, a longtime member of the New Jersey Army National Guard who served in Operation Desert Storm, died of pancreatic cancer Saturday at Samaritan Hospice in Mount Holly.
A native of Willingboro, Command Sgt. Maj. Stokley joined the New Jersey National Guard in 1975 while still a student at Burlington County Vocational Technical School. After graduating, he served in the Guard part time while working in the automotive industry. He became a full-time guardsman in the late 1980s.
In 1991, he served with a heavy-material supply company in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. In 2004, in the aftermath of 9/11, he was deployed to Egypt with a multinational force to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Since 2006, he had been a command sergeant major for the First Battalion, 114th Infantry in Woodbury. He had been a member of the New Jersey Guard counter-drug task force for the last 18 years.
His wife, Barbara, said he lived by the Army motto of "duty, honor, and country" and enjoyed mentoring younger soldiers. He loved hunting for deer and turkey, she said, and riding his Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic motorcycle.
In addition to his wife, Command Sgt. Maj. Stokley is survived by a daughter, Christina Jenkins; mother Gerry Galt; father Fred Stokley; a sister; and three brothers.
A funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1308 Mount Holly Road, Burlington, N.J. Friends may call from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Perinchief Funeral Home, 428 High St., Mount Holly.