Thomas Myers Poole, son of Emma and Raymond Poole passed away November 19 surrounded by the tremendous love of family and friends. Tom was predeceased by his wife of 61 years Jane; and survived by daughters Joanne Reese (Steve) and Grace Benn (Alex), brother Bob Poole (Claude), grandchildren Abby and CJ Benn, nephew Eric Poole, niece Michele Sinclair (Chris), step-grandchildren Steven (Leah) and Matthew Reese (Sara), and step-great-grandchildren Joshua, Hannah, Sophia, and Barrett.
Born on Flag Day, June 14, 1926 in Philadelphia, Tom had patriotism in his blood. After graduating from Central High School (182nd class), he was drafted by the Army mere days after D-Day. He often described himself as the luckiest Infantryman of WWII landing in France eight days before the war in Europe ended. Upon returning home, thanks to the GI Bill, he earned a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Tom was a devoted Penn man missing few reunions or Penn/Princeton football games. He missed his fifth reunion, however, to marry the love of his life, Jane; a true testament to the power of his love for her.
Penn ran deep in Tom, but so did Princeton, the town where he and Jane raised their daughters and lived for 54 years 23 days. He served on the Township Committee for six years, two as Deputy Mayor; and made many dear friends through his roles as Fire Commissioner, Housing Board Chair, and Deer Committee Chair. Tom was also a member of the Nassau Club of Princeton and proudly served as President from 2006-2008.
As an avid birdwatcher, Tom improved the land and environment by serving on the Boards of D&R Greenway Land Trust, Friends of Princeton Open Space, the Washington Crossing Audubon Society, and was a member of the Princeton Environmental Commission. He and Jane loved the outdoors and could often be found with binoculars around their necks in the Princeton Wildlife Refuge or Institute Woods.
Tom was a natural storyteller and laughter was pervasive in their home; he and Jane hosted many riotous evenings around old radio shows. Classical music was also a constant in their home. So of course Tom was a member of the Advisory Commission for WWFM, the Mercer County Radio Station. As the reader can gather, Tom was a “doer” and a “joiner”; if he believed in the cause, he joined the committee and thanks to his integrity, wit, and gregarious nature, he often wound up running it.
But Tom’s life wasn’t all birdwatching and laughs, he put his Wharton degree to good use working for Vicks, N.W. Ayre, and Lever Bros to name a few; and was Vice President and Co-Founder of the Princeton Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. He was intimately involved with developing and launching Close-Up, the first gel toothpaste; some readers may want to thank him for helping them get “up close and personal”. He would have enjoyed knowing he played a part in fostering romance.
We’re not done yet, as sports also loomed large in Tom’s life. He played a mean center field and passed along his love of sports to his daughters. A lifelong Phillies and Eagles fan, Tom grew to enjoy the Suns and Cardinals after moving to Arizona and thoroughly enjoyed his proximity to spring training.
A man of varied interests, and never one to leave a party early, Tom was fun to be around and will be sorely missed. In lieu of flowers, feed the birds, raise a highball, or have a laugh in his honor. And if so inclined, send a donation in his name to the Washington Crossing Audubon Society, D&R Greenway Land Trust, or the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1950.