Donald Ray Poole, Sr., 89, of St. George, Utah, passed away Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. He was born Aug. 14, 1925, in Sherritts, Ohio, to Oscar Raymond Poole and Edith Evelyn Vermillion Poole.
He was born and raised in Ohio. He met Patricia L. Grubbs in High School at age 15. After graduating from High School, they married on July 8, 1944. They were later sealed in the LDS Temple in Mesa, Arizona. “Patty” passed away Aug. 7, 1993. They had four children together. He later married Ellen Coursey. In 1992, they moved to St. George, Utah, and built a home on St. James Lane. Ellen passed away Jan. 15, 2010. In October 2010, Don was introduced to Janette Hay. He married his wee Scottish wife on October 2, 2010. They were soul mates and best friends from day one!!
Don loved his country! In April of 1943, World War II was in full swing. He felt compelled to go and serve, so at age 17 1/2, he and about 30 other young men, went down to Wright Paterson Field to take an Aviation Cadet Exam. He was only one of three who passed and the only one to choose the Air Force. In August, just after graduating from High School, he was called to Active Duty. Don served his country well. He was stationed at various places all over the United States, as well as abroad — Bermuda and Guam. He was a B29 Navigator, and piloted B25’s, B36’s, B47’s and C47’s. During these years, he was awarded many medals. He was a Hurricane Hunter from 1949-1952, a member of the Strategic Air Command from 1952-1964 and on the Inspector General’s Team from 1959-1964. He retired as an Air Force Major in May of 1964.
Don joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June of 1958. In 1966, after retiring from the Air Force, he was appointed Manager of Helaman Halls, at Brigham Young University. He worked there for 26 years, before retiring and moving to St. George. While at BYU he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations.
He loved to golf and used to make his own clubs. He enjoyed gardening, cooking and barbecuing, and even wrote some poetry here and there. He was smart and in 1943, had a measured I.Q. of 149. He could do math in his head and was a quick learner. He loved sports, whether as a participant or a spectator. He always enjoyed playing basketball, swimming, bowling and billiards.
Don loved his sweet wife and all his posterity more than anything else in life! He was always full of gratitude for all that he had and expressed his love of the Lord daily. He always cried as he talked about Janette and how grateful he was that they had been brought together. As Christie (Janette’s friend) said it so well, “our Lord is so blessed to have Don in His kingdom”.
Don is survived by his wife, Janette Poole of St. George, Utah; Pamela Kay Holt (Larry) of LaJunta, Colorado, Donald Ray Poole Jr. (Paula) of West Jordan, Utah, Tara Ann Chappell (Byron) of St. George, Utah, and Joseph Dean Poole (Marie) of Harbor Island, Bahamas. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
- Funeral Services will be Saturday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. at the St. James Ward Building, 1095 East St. James Lane, St. George, Utah.
- There will be a viewing Friday, Dec. 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff St., St. George, and on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., prior to services at the chapel.
- Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery with full military honors.
Our family would like to thank all those who have been so kind through this difficult time. We love and appreciate you all so very much!
Arrangements have been made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, telephone 435-673-2454. Friends and family are invited to sign Don’s guestbook at the Spilsbury Mortuary website.