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Tommy Louis Poole

1915 - 2010 Obituary Condolences
Tommy Louis Poole Obituary
Tommy Louis Poole passed away peacefully on August 24, 2010 at the age of 95. Tommy was the only son of Louis and Penelope Poole. He was born in Los Angeles on May 7, 1915 and spent the majority of his youth in El Centro, CA on a 600 acre farm. At an early age Tommy learned the importance of hard work; planting and harvesting crops while attending El Centro High School. After graduating from El Centro High School in 1933 he made his way back to Los Angeles. A first generation Greek-American, Tommy took great pride in his heritage and met his wife of 71 years, Helen, while attending a dance organized by St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church. Helen and Tommy were married in Los Angeles on April 23, 1939 and welcomed their only child, Ginger. Around the same time they settled permanently in San Pedro, CA, near Helen's family. Along with great love and devotion, the couple shared a strong work ethic and not long after marrying, they started a wholesale produce business, San Pedro Produce. In the beginning, the Pooles were a "two-man" show; at 4 AM Tommy would hit the produce market, then drive the truck all day to make the deliveries, while Helen took the orders and ran the books. With their perseverance, it didn't take long for the business to grow to a considerable size, with accounts ranging from Fort Macarthur to the Princess Louise. Tommy always said, that "the relationship is everything." His warm, honest, and straightforward approach distinguished him from the competition and helped to win him many loyal accounts. After 37 years, the Pooles sold San Pedro Produce with the intent to retire and spend time with their new grandson, Forrest. But Tommy soon found out that a leisurely lifestyle was not for him and within two years he went back to work taking a commission-only position with Apex Produce. He single-handedly cornered the Palm Springs market for Apex and enjoyed several successful years in that position, even after it was acquired by G&G Produce. At 76 years old he received the honor of "Outstanding Salesman of the Year" from G&G and Tommy continued to work in the produce industry in a consultant capacity right up until he was 89 years old. Tommy was not only a good business man but a good husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He had a great wit and could get a chuckle out of most anyone with a funny bone. Tommy had many interests and affiliations - he was a Freemason and long-time member of the Masonic lodge in San Pedro. He loved to dance and actually won a few competitions over the years. He was also a driving enthusiast and competed in race events back in the 1950's in his white Jaguar XK120. In fact, you could have still caught him darting around town in his black Caddie just last month. Tommy is survived by his daughter, Ginger McGann, and grandson, Forrest McGann. The viewing for Tommy Poole will be held from 3:00 to 8:00 on Monday August 30 with evening service between 7:00 and 8:00 at McNerney's Mortuary in San Pedro, CA. Funeral services will be held the following day at 11 AM at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach with burial to follow at Green Hills. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Never Fear, Tommy is Near

Published in Daily Breeze on Aug. 28, 2010
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