“He demanded the most of himself,” Rob Gregory said of the late Carl Poole Jr., a resident of Pemaquid and former owner of the Poole Brothers lumber company.
Poole died surrounded by family Feb. 10, which was his 74th birthday.
Gregory, a Damariscotta attorney, met Poole in the early 1980s and served with him on the First National Bank Board of Directors. Poole was a director from 1984-2015, according to his obituary.
Carl Sherman Poole Jr. was born in Damariscotta in 1945 to Carl Poole Sr. and Gail Merrill Poole. He graduated from Bristol High School in 1963 and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.
Poole married Emily Cotton in 1969. He had begun working for the family business, Poole Brothers, as a teenager, then owned and operated the business until his retirement in 2005.
Colleagues remember him as a savvy businessman who expanded the family business from one lumberyard to three locations, in Damariscotta, Pemaquid, and Boothbay Harbor.
Hammond Lumber Co. eventually acquired the locations and continues to operate the Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor stores. The Pemaquid location was recently purchased as a conservation and historic site.
“He really did a great job of expanding his business,” Gregory said. He said Poole was very service-oriented. “There was no job that was too small,” he said.
“He was exceptionally knowledgeable about the products he was selling,” Gregory said. “I learned a lot from him.”
Craig Leeman, a longtime employee of Poole Brothers, spoke about Poole in a recent video on Poole Brothers and the old Pemaquid mill, produced by Russ Lane.
Poole was “such a good friend to me,” Leeman said in the film. Leeman started working for the company in 1968.
“Such a smart man. And such a good friend,” he said of Poole in the video.
Tony McKim, president of First National Bank, said Poole was “always willing to go the extra mile for people.”
Besides being a good businessman, “he was also very caring about the community,” McKim said. He said Poole was always interested in causes the bank was involved in, such as decreasing food insecurity in Maine.
“He and I were pretty good friends … he was a good guy,” said Chester Rice, of South Bristol. Rice, a former contractor, used to work with Poole, doing site work on some of his projects.
Rice said Poole was always thinking of his customers.
Poole was also a 50-year member of the Bristol Masonic Lodge, a member of the Scottish Rite of Augusta, Kora Temple of Lewiston, and the Maine Consistory – Valley of Portland 32nd Degree, according to his obituary.
McKim said Poole, who had a “characteristic grin,” was easy to talk to and gave people his undivided attention.
“His mind was not wandering when he was in a conversation with you,” he said.
“He’s going to be missed,” Gregory said.