MY FATHER: TRULY A GREAT MAN

John Pool was born on January 10, 1922 to Sarahellis sarah and Ellis Pool in the small central Missouri town of Boonville.  He was the oldest boy and therefore had a lot on his shoulders right from the start. His father, who served honorably in World War One, gave John the middle name of Pershing in honor of the commanding general, “Black Jack” Pershing. So in many ways it was preordained that John would end up in the service of his country. dad eaRLYJohn grew up to be slender, athletic, accomplished and seemingly always well-dressed. John and his six brothers and sisters made the Pool household active, busy and playful. There was Noah and Hazel, Nadine and Ernie, Richard, Gertrude and Margaret. Life on a farm in central Missouri during the depression was tough, hard work, but Fall03_Main 092everyone pulled together. It was there that John learned the values of family, hard work and integrity. By his own admission John was not terribly enamored with working on a farm. Regardless, things changed with the advent of World War Two.  The war took him oEarly Army 1ff the farm and because of all of his experience driving trucks and tractors he was instantly selected to a position of leadership in the unit that later became famous as the Red Ball Express. He arrived in England just-in-time to be involved in the Normandy landing and invasion of France, where he was about to participate in events that would change the course of history. In the summer of 1944 US Army units under Gen. George Patton were racing across images (5)France at breakneck speed in pursuit of the German army. But the only way to keep that pursuit going was to supply the army with everything from gasoline to ammunition and food. All of those supplies had to be carried on trucks across hundreds of miles from the beaches to the German border. The equation 11the_redball_expresswas pretty simple:  If there was no ammunition, no gas or no food, there redballwould also be no victory. It was all dependent on the predominantly African American truckers called the Red Ball Express. One of the men who was in charge of keeping those trucks running was Sgt. John Pool. In spite of all of that, there was still very little respect for African-American soldiers. There was open discrimination. It even got to the point where German soldiers who were download (2)captured by black troops were allowed to eat in the same cafeterias as white American troops while the blacks were not allowed in. It was a rude awakening for many soldiers like John and had him questioning the inequalities of the country he was fighting for.images (8)  However he never tainted us kids with bitterness over his treatment and stayed in the army for 23 years. He always taught us that two wrongs do not make a right.  And that we should always conduct ourselves with dignity, pride, hard work and integrity. He was wounded in battle, fought for his country in World War Two and Korea and retired from the army in the 1964. A chance meeting on a train led John to meetScan0123 Barbara Thomas, and in 1946 they married. Several years later John and his new wife headed back to Germany for occupation duty and that is when they turned from a couple into a family.  First there was Yvonne, better-known as Dee Dee and several years later I was born. From there John briefly worked for Boeing and then entered the financial services business, providing insurance and investments to customers around the Puget Sound. He and Barbara also founded a construction company and developed real estate. John had a wonderful 9dad best2 years of life and a marriage that lasted for 68 years. He is survived by his wife and two children, two brothers and three sisters, numerous grand and great grandchildren and host of loving nieces and nephews. He was laid to rest on April 12th with full military honors at Bonney-Watson Memorial Cemetery in SeaTac. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the scholarship fund at the First AME church in Seattle.

28 Comments

  1. Scott Carty

    What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man, Steve. Thank you for sharing his story and honoring him for his service. He must have been incredibly proud of you. God Bless.

  2. Barbara LeBlanc

    This is an awesome way to honor your father. Sending my love to your family.

  3. Kathy

    Thank you Steve for sharing your Father’s story. I am so sorry for your loss….

  4. Janet Adams

    What a tribute you wrote for your Dad. You can tell how much you loved and respected him. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. My Dad who shares your Dad’s birthday, just two years younger, was also in WW2, and also laid to rest at Washington Memorial. We lost him 25 years ago, he was much to young. I can tell you it is a different world without a parent or parents, in my case. Both I might add were very loyal KOMO news viewers, they would watch no other station.I honor them by trying to be the best person I can be while on this earth. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your mother and your whole family. Gods blessings to you all.

  5. Sue Stewart

    I am sure your father was as proud of you as you were of him. He was an honorable man for sure and may he rest well.

  6. connie bartroff

    What a great American and a loving Father you had Steve. you were so proud of him and for good reason.It was wonderful to read your story about your Dad and your family. and the happy life he made for you and your brothers and sisters I pray he is with the Lord now. in Heaven. Love and prayers to you and your family. and I enjoy watching you every day, Connie Bartroff,

  7. Diane Tagart Reed

    So sorry Steve, it sounds like he led a wonderful very full life. I can tell what kind of man he was just by your personality. It takes a special family to raise children that are a truly class act as you are and I’m certain your sister also. How very lucky you are to have had such an honorable Father. I’m sure he will be very missed.

  8. Brad Brickley

    Both my grandfathers were of the same generation as your father, they were both in the service and special people like your father. That was a great generation indeed. My best to your family. Rest in peace.

  9. Jurgen Schlemmer

    Steve,
    I read the post and I am humbled by your Dad’s service to our country. I am sure that with his Dignity,Integrity and hard work ethic is why you are the man you are today. I am glad your Dad never tainted you and your sister with any bitterness over his treatment. The Lord was with him for 93 years and now he will dwell with him forever.May God bless you and your entire family.

    Your friend,

    Jurgen Schlemmer

  10. Sharon Edwards

    What a beautiful tribute to an obviously wonderful man. Those who discriminated could have learned so much. Just watching Steve Pool on KOMO it is also obvious that John Pool raised his children with the same warmth, compassion and integrity. Your family was and is Blessed.

  11. Susan Holmes

    Very nice eulogy of your Father, what an interesting life he led, and to not have any bitterness for the way African American were treated while serving our country says a lot about the integrity of this man. His long marriage also exemplifies the values he held dear. You look so much like him and after reading about him and watching you on the news for so long I know he also passed on his smile, a strong work ethic, love of family, and all of the qualities that made him the man he was.
    My sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time, the memories of your life with him will surely give you comfort in the days ahead!

  12. Ibabao

    He lived a life filled with grace, love and dignity. I see those same qualities in you, my friend…

    My thoughts, prayers are with you and yours…

  13. Bonnie Ahlstedt

    Our sympathy to you and your family Steve. Did you dad love food as much as you do on the 4:00 news. Prayers for you and family. Love the tribute & knowledge of his family from Boonville Mo.

  14. Tammy Temple

    What a beautiful tribute to your father. We have watched you on the news every since you joined with KOMO and you definitely look like your father, you have his beautiful smile and looks. May your father RIP, he sounds like such a lovely man, just like you. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Always treasure the memories you shared with your father and may you find peace and comfort.

  15. Linda MacGowan

    That is such a loving and beautiful tribute to your Dad. A life well lived…a love of life and family and country. How blessed you are to have had him all these years. I am so sorry for your loss. My sincerest condolences to you and your family. I watched KOMO and your wonderful weather reports when I lived in Seattle from 1995-99. I come back every year for a visit and tune in to see you.

  16. Courtney Nipper

    This is a very nice and interesting eulogy of your Dad Steve. It sounds like he led a very fulfilled life. I can see why he was so well loved.

  17. Lorraine Thacker

    Thank you for the wonderful words about your father and his life. We know a little bit more about you and it explains much. We give your our heartfelt condolences and wish the pain of his loss eases, and the happy memories remain.

  18. sharron johnson

    thank you for sharing steve. what a great guy. it always hurts me to read about the wrongs that man has done regarding race or religion. you must be so very proud of such an honorable man. no wonder you are such an amazing person too. sorry for the loss of such an outstanding human being. our love to you steve and you family.

  19. Amy E.

    Sorry to hear about your dad… You now have a wonderful video of your dad that you and your kids will treasure!

  20. Sara Lewis

    Thank you for sharing you father’s life with us. And your love for him with your words. My father-in-law served in WWII and related a story to us in regards to Black soldiers being shipped to Europe. These soldiers were not allowed on top of the troop ships. At night my father-in-law, along with other White soldiers, would go down to the lower levels and bring the Black soldiers up on deck for fresh air and to look at the stars.He felt it was the least he could do for fellow human beings who were going to be fighting for our freedoms.

  21. Pearl Thomas

    Hi Steve,
    I hope you remember me I’m Pearl Thomas, you were the MC at the Miss Black Washington pageant.

    I won the pageant and we had a couple of ensuing meetings then fell out of contact. Nate Long loved you dearly.

    Thank you for sharing the memories you captured of your Father, a great man, you look like him and take after him in being successful in your own right.

    It’ll be hard, but you’ll get throughout this. I’ll be praying for you.
    Call me sometime, I’d like to catch up. 206.852.1793

    God bless you!

  22. Patsy St.Germain

    Very beautiful tribute to your father. He sounded like a great man, thank you to him for his service in the military.
    My condolences to you and your family. .God Bless.

  23. Emily Gadsby

    Thank you for sharing the lovely story of your wonderful Dad. He lived an amazing life.

  24. Heidi Larson

    Well written tribute. A life well lived. And, your other looks like a movie star!

  25. Robert Cecchi

    Hi Steve. My condolences to you and to your family. I just finished reading your tribute to you Dad. What an amazing life he had!
    I lost my Mom in September 2012, just a month prior to her 93rd birthday. When you are lucky enough to have had them in your life for so long, you tend to take it for granted. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Someone once was said that “time heals all wounds”. I must say that I disagree with that statement but tell you that each new day gets a little easier than the last and that eventually, when you think about your Dad, you’ll have a smile on your face. Take care.

  26. SuzyQ

    Steve –
    What a lovely tribute to one of the “Greatest Generation.” Your story and photos were filled with remembrance of your strong family. I’m sure you are so proud to be from such fine people. As our parents pass on we are left with their legacy – one you are carrying on with such grace and pride.
    Bless you and your family.
    SQ

  27. Shawna DeKriek

    Steve your dad is a Hero. What an amazing life he lived! His views of “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and not letting others opinions of his worth reflect on his own self worth are truly outstanding. My family and I send our condolences to you and your family. You’re my favorite weather man and I’ve been watching you since I was born. Thank you for sharing your dad’s amazing life story!! :)

  28. Donna

    Thank you so much for sharing this info about your father, he was a wonderful human being and obviously passed this on to his children. Wonderful way to pay tribute to him.

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