Joseph “Richard” Poole, renowned family man and business owner of the Grand Lake community, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 24, 2020, at the age of 83.
Richard was born on Apr. 4, 1937, in Lake Charles to William (Teen) Poole and Rose (Benoit) Poole. On Aug. 10, 1957, he married Melva Dale (White) Poole, whom he affectionately called “darlin’.” Together, they raised two sons, Ricky and Daryl.
Having learned the trade of roofing from Fred “Slim” Picard, Richard went on to start a roofing business in 1975 that he called Poole Roofing. Theirs was truly a family of quality, hard-working roofers, as his two sons went on to run Poole Roofing following Richard’s retirement in 2005.
Richard always led by example, teaching his family how to be hard workers and how to give what the Lord blesses you with to help your fellow neighbor. He certainly put the “Poole” in Poole Roofing, rising early, working until dark, and not finishing a job until it was done just right. For over 40 years, Poole Roofing has been known across Southwest Louisiana for providing only the best work and materials. In tin and shingles across the community, Richard has left his mark.
Somehow, though, what Richard will most be remembered for is not his work. Many in the community called Richard “the sweetest man [they] had ever met,” the one who would hold open church doors to welcome visitors or send them off to start their week with a hug. That’s who Richard was at heart: a giver, a giver of his time, his resources, and above all his love.
In 1977, Richard and his wife, Dale, welcomed a full-gospel congregation into one of their warehouses to form the church that would become Grand Lake Faith Temple. He went on to help obtain land for the church along Highway 384 and build its walls, floors, and, of course, its roof. Ensuring that Grand Lake Faith Temple was a church devoted to service, Richard helped to lead dozens of mission trips to Mexico in support of the ministry of Doc and Pat Louviere. A respected member of the community writ large, he was a freemason of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Louisiana (No. 439).
Richard traveled to all 50 states and to several parts of Canada with his wife. His favorite place, though, was a small family camp in Reeves. It was there that he dug ponds, built diving boards, rode golf carts, and went fishing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who knew him as “paw-paw.” In his later years, Richard’s most cherished spot became the backyard shop where he invited neighbors and loved ones over to borrow tools or to share duck gumbo after a successful morning of hunting.
Perhaps more than anyone, Richard enjoyed the simple things in life. If he was drinking a cup of coffee and someone would ask, “What’s your favorite thing to do?” he would reply, “Drink this cup of coffee right here.”
Richard was preceded in his passing by his father, William (Teen); his mother, Rose; and his sister, Murrel Del (Poole) Precht.
He is survived by his wife, Dale; their two sons, Ricky and Daryl; their daughters-in-law, Kaylynn and Becky; their grandchildren, Carrie (and husband Geoff), Ryan (and wife Gabby), Samantha (and husband Jacob), and Megan (and husband Andrew); as well as their great-grandchildren, Regan, Jackson, Kevin, Patrick, Stella, and Ryder. He is also survived by sister Greta (Poole) Brown; and brother Roderick Poole.
All of them carry their ties to the Poole name with pride when they remember the example of Richard who was always willing to give whatever he had in his pockets or lend a hand to help. As often as they work into the late hours or stop what they are doing to help a neighbor, they remember their husband, their brother, their dad, their paw-paw, and they don’t stop until the job is done the way he would have done it: just right.
Visitation was held on Sunday, July 26, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Grand Lake Faith Temple. A funeral service, led by Richard’s closest friend, Reverend Andrew D. Martin, Sr., immediately followed at 11 a.m., with a graveside service shortly thereafter.
The family would like to express their gratitude for Heart of Hospice and Richard’s numerous caregivers who watched after him his final months.
If you would like to honor Richard, provide a donation in his name to Grand Lake Faith Temple in lieu of flowers.