three generations of
well-known Williamson businessmen and maintained close ties with Tug Valley during retirement in Florida, has died.
Death came to the 90-year-old Wednesday, June 9, 2010, as he bade goodbye to the city he loved throughout his lifetime. "G.D." had been residing here for a time and was seen dining with his son, George (III) and friends daily. Age never dulled his love of life nor his interest in the business world and happenings around the globe.
Friends called him "G.D." while his grandchildren and their friends hailed him as "Daddy-O." He and his late wife, Mary Dee (Rowland) Poole, had bought a home in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1987 and since that time had divided their time between Williamson and Daytona until her death.
This husband, father and outstanding businessman in his more active years was born in Bluefield, W.Va.,on June 15, 1919. His parents, George Deaton Poole and Dora Meek Poole, migrated to Williamson and Lexington, Ky., with young G.D. attending schools in both areas. He was graduated from University High School and from the University of Kentucky (1941) in Lexington. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity at UK.
He answered the call of his country following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, and served honorably in the U.S. Army as a medical aidman. He also saw combat on many fronts, among them the Battle of the Bulge. His military duty brought him various awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon, the World War II Victory ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Poole joined his father in business, the City Insurance Agency, upon returning to Williamson and also married the former Mary Dee Rowland on May 17, 1947. They had three children, Barbara Poole Thompson, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Poole Nickels and George Deaton Poole III (head of the City Insurance Agency), all surviving.
He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, serving as treasurer and a trustee for many years. He also was a member and former president of the Williamson Rotary Club.
Active in other organizations, Poole worked on Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce efforts to acquire better roads for the Williamson area, among them Tolsia Highway, U.S. 119 and other projects. He was honored as "Businessman of the Year" and was responsible for creation of the Mingo County Airport Authority which he chaired for many years. During those years he met FAÅ officials to procure funding for the airport.
His Williamson activities did not take all of Poole's time for he and his brother, Don Poole, built the Downtowner Hot el in Lexington, Ky., and later formed a company known as Long John Silvers Enterprises. The two brothers also built The Charleston House Holiday Inn on urban renewal property in Charleston, W.Va., revitalizing the Kanawha River area prior to purchasing the Elk River Holiday Inn and The Heart of Town. They then built the Holiday Inn Civic Center.
G.D. and Don Poole were early investors with Long John Silvers restaurants and built 46 in different areas. G.D. also bought and sold properties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.
Surviving in addition to his son and two daughters are his six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Sunday at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Greg Blair, pastor, officiating.