Monica Christina Stokely of Jacksonville, FL died on Monday in Ferndale, WA. She was 26. Monica's life followed an extraordinary path of creative and passionate service. Monica demonstrated her love of animals and the environment in many ways throughout her childhood.

As early as elementary school, Monica organized the family to begin recycling. When she was in Middle school Monica volunteered at a local humane society on weekends. In high school she brought her environmental commitment to a community level, increasing the awareness of the importance of recycling to area leaders. In her college years Monica volunteered at the FL Wildlife Center in Gainesville, rescuing and helping animals of all types. Most recently Monica continued her advocacy of the protection of our natural resources through volunteering at Paynes Prairie State Park, and actively participating in many Earth First! causes. She enjoyed traveling and experiencing nature through hiking and camping across North America, including both the Appalachian and Pacific Coast trails.

In addition to the time Monica spent volunteering at animal shelters, state parks, and wildlife centers, she was also a talented artist. Monica was involved in a number of creative arts and crafts activities including sewing, clothing and jewelry design, and poi construction. Monica was a talented poi dancer. Monica made several volunteer trips to help rebuild houses in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

Monica graduated from Nease High School in 1999. Following her graduation, she attended freshman year at Florida State University. She then went on to obtain an AA from Santa Fe Community College. Monica continued her studies at the University of Florida, where she pursued her passion for wildlife ecology.

Monica is survived by her parents, Murray M. and M. Lucy Stokely, her brother Murray M. Stokely III, her Grandfather, Bill Terrell, her Aunt Nancy Terrell, her Uncle and Aunt Ed and Wyline Holder, many cousins and friends, and her Lab Barney. A memorial service will be held at 11am on Saturday, Nov. 10th by the river at Alpine Groves County Park in Switzerland, FL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the University of Florida Foundation, Inc. with memo that they be used for the Monica Stokely Memorial Scholarship and mailed to The Florida Fund, P.O. Box 14425, Attn: Melissa Tyrone, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425.

Variants of this obituary were published November 7-8 in the following newspapers: Florida Times-Union, Gainesville Sun, Bellingham Herald, Greenville News, and Chattanooga Times Free-Press.