Donald E. Poole, 71

WINDHAM — Donald E. Poole, 71, died on April 28, 2014, in Santa Barbara, Calif., due to complications from cancer.

Born in Somerville, N.J., on July 6, 1942, Don was the oldest of three sons of Jack E. and Charlotte M. Lund Poole, both since deceased.

Don graduated from Somerville High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. He served stateside with the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky., from 1965 to 1967. Donald belonged to Corner Stone Masonic Lodge No. 216 in Portland, where he served for a time as chaplain and treasurer of the corporation. He was also a 32nd degree Mason of the Scottish Rite.

Often described as “such as nice guy,” Don will be remembered for his wonderful smile, his kind ways and his corny wit — which he came by honestly from his father; a trait inherited by his brothers as well. Feared only for his prowess at “Jeopardy,” what else would you expect from someone who read the encyclopedia and dictionary as a child, all the way through, really! Don also read National Geographic cover to cover for decades.

Don loved to travel. He was happy with a short ride in his local ranges, a trip to a European or an Asian destination, or reading a map in the car while waiting for his wife. He found pleasure in each. He enjoyed finding a new local view and couldn't wait to show this discovery to his wife when she returned from a business trip.

He played golf. He would have a bad game the first day of the season and never play the rest of the year. Don was one darn good tennis player and very competitive at everything. He would go to the bars in the Old Port and shoot pool with the fishermen; professional “accountant” when asked. He was a good pool player and enjoyed all people. His daughter is one heck of a pool player, too.

Don’s career in finance followed a deliberate path. He enjoyed strategic planning, operations, absorbing nuances of the different industries he entered, understanding the competition, serving in V.P. and CFO roles in Maine. After serving as V.P. and CFO of G.H. Bass & Co. (footwear), Don became Vice President of Finance & Administration of Maine Cottage Furniture, helping a colleague from Bass grow and become nationally-recognized. Some of us can relate to that! Unfortunately the company is no longer, but the look lives on, yes, it was a good idea. Don served as V.P. Finance & Administration of Sebago, Inc. (footwear) directing finance, HR, IT, and customer service. As a retirement strategist for NorthStar, Don realized he did not like sales but he passed the difficult Series 7 with one of the highest scores in Maine! He served as CFO of J. Weston Walch, Publisher (educational materials) until his retirement. Early in his career, Don worked for Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey, American Home Products in New York City, and Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc. in Connecticut. Don officially retired in August of 2005.

On Oct. 9, 1995, Don married the former Nellie D. Fish in New Orleans, La. Nellie was at Don’s side when he passed away. They have been living in Goleta, Calif., for the past three years with their much-loved cats, Andy and Katie.

Don is survived by his wife, Nellie of Windham and Goleta, Calif.; his daughter Rebecca Susan Poole of South Bridgton; brothers Jeffrey Poole and Allen “Chris” Poole, both of Bridgewater, N.J.; two grandchildren; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Don’s greatest joy was spending time with his wife, daughter, grandchildren and brothers. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Visiting hours were held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland, with a Masonic ritual service at 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, an 11 a.m. funeral service will be held at North Deering Congregational Church, Washington Avenue, Portland. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Portland. Online condolences may be expressed at

Those desiring may make a donation in Don’s memory to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, Texas 75256-0309, or Special Olympics of Maine, 125 John Roberts Rd., South Portland, ME 04106.

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