Harry Richard Poole, surrounded by his family, passed away at his home on March 18, 2018. He was 90. Despite having had his share of health problems the last few years, Harry never lost his trademark sharp wit, his faith in the Lord, or the love he had for his family and friends.
Harry was born on January 26, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, to Clarence and Dorothy Poole. His father was an accomplished musician and worked for the Chicago School District. His mother was a hairdresser. Harry became a proud big brother after his sister Lorraine (Muff) joined the family in 1931. He attended Fenwick High School, an all-boys Catholic school in Chicago. Harry was a disciplined student and was known to have straight forward personality and a dry sense of humor, which lasted until his passing. He enjoyed the outdoors and sports. As a teen, he developed an affection for animals while working at a horse stable in the summers.
After graduating high school, Harry continued his education at Wilbur Wright CC. During this time, he began working part time for Mars candy company. This after-school job allowed Harry to continue to pursue his passion of flying and eventually earn his pilot’s license. He served in the Civil Air Patrol for six years and Washington Air Search and Rescue for 11 years.
Harry’s job at Mars developed into a successful career that lasted 42 years. He migrated west to Spokane after he was assigned the Northwest Territory. This is where he met the love of his life, Margaret (Peg) Harrington, who was a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Harry and Peg were married on September 22, 1953, and started a family the following summer. Over the next nine years, they had six children. Eventually, they moved to the Seattle area and ultimately settled on Mercer Island in 1962.
Harry became an institution on the island. He was respected not only by his family but by generations of Islanders. He coached baseball and was known for having a garage full of candy. He also enjoyed hosting guests in his “Feather Farm” at cocktail hour.
Harry lives on in his family. He is survived by five of his children: Joe Poole and his wife Michelle; Maureen Atkins and her husband Riley; Alan Poole and his partner Connie Doran; Tom Poole; and Michael Poole and his wife Kim. He also has six grandchildren: Meghan Flower and her husband Matt, Matthew Lorenzo, Nate Poole, Jenni Poole, Steven Poole, and Amy Poole, as well as three great-grandchildren: Aiden Poole, Lionel Flower and Emelyn Flower.
Harry was preceded in death by his father Clarence, his daughter Brenda, his mother Dorothy, his wife Peg, and his sister Muff.
Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harry’s name to Mercer Island Youth and Family Services.