Parker Poole Jr., 82
CAPE ELIZABETH -- Parker Poole Jr., 82, died at his home in Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday, May 20, 2008.
Born in Portland April 7, 1926, Mr. Poole was the son of Marjorie Clark Shurtleff and Parker Poole Sr. Mr. Poole was the President and Wharfinger of Proprietors of Union Warf, not only the oldest wharf but also the oldest family-run pier on the Portland Waterfront. He dedicated his career to improving the wharf and providing for the commercial needs of Portland fishermen, seafood processors, and waterfront businesses. It is often remarked that Union Wharf, under his management was the best repaired and operated wharf, private or public, on the Portland Waterfront.
He attended Deering High School and Kimball Union Academy, where he was a stand-out athlete. He interrupted his studies at Kimball Union in 1943 to join the U.S. Marine Corps at the 17, asking his parents to sign a waiver for him so he could enlist. He served in the Pacific Theater with the Second Marine Division and did duty on Saipan, Okinawa, and was on stand-by for the invasion of Japan which the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs precluded. His unit, however, was the first to go into Nagasaki with the occupation. After the war he graduated from KUA in 1946 and then attended Middlebury College.
He went to work for the W.H. Shurtleff Company with his father and his brother, William W. Poole, where he was instrumental in the growth and diversification of the company's distribution and sales to Maine municipalities and industries of salt, chemical and construction products from 1949 to 1982. He was always keenly interested in sustaining the Portland Waterfront and in 1982 he committed himself full time to the improvement of Union Wharf. This coincided with the Greater Portland urban redevelopment era and the time when Portland was engaged in much turmoil about fish piers, condominiums and the proper role of the waterfront property. Parker Poole Jr. was a leading voice for the practical working waterfront.
His son, Charlie Poole joined the business in 1983. Together they acquired Brown Ship Chandlery in 1984 and several years later created Custom Float Services, a growing builder of docks, floats and piers for the New England region. In 1998, he commissioned Susan Gold and Jill Cournoyer to write The History of Union Wharf, 1793-1998.
Parker Poole Jr.
Jones, Rich & Hutchins
Funeral Home & Cremation Service
In 1950 Mr. Poole married Victoria Simes, also of Portland. Together they raised six children in Portland's West End, and their Bowdoin Street house was a regular meeting place for the junior population of the neighborhood. Their fifth child, Talcott S. (Sam) Poole predeceased his parents in 1982. Sam Poole was the 120th heart transplant recipient in the experimental program at Stanford Medical Center. The saga of his second child is chronicled in Victoria Poole's book Thursday's Child.
Parker Poole Jr. was an adventurous dreamer and a true optimist. He was the creator of business enterprises to meet every economy and opportunity. He was the architect of the resurrection and rebuilding of the 1940s vintage wooden 73 foot long tug boat re-named Victoria and on it cruised Casco Bay and the Maine Coast from 1974 to 1985.
As a father he taught by example, by experience and by risk taking. He allowed ample opportunity to discover by making mistakes and was always at hand to support the learning process. Family camping trips, various cruising power boats, and ancient logging camp in Carrabassett Valley known as Camp Bruin were typical ways that his children and their friends were introduced to the fun and responsibility of life.
Mr. Poole is survived by his wife of 58 years, Victoria; sons Malcolm F. of Scarborough, Parker III of South Portland, Charles A. of Yarmouth, daughters Christina P. Thomas of Baltimore, Md., and Alexandra P. Sawyer of Cape Elizabeth; a niece Louise R. Forrest of Bozeman, Mont.; a brother, William W. Poole of Portland and a sister-in-law, Rosamond S. Richardson of Cape Elizabeth. Parker is also survived by 15 grandchildren and three great- grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, at St. Luke's Cathedral, 143 State St., Portland. A reception will follow on Union Wharf. Arrangements are by Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland.
In lieu of flowers contributions
may be sent to:
VNA Home Health and Hospice
50 Foden Rd.
South Portland, Maine 04105
Published by Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 21, 2008.