Obituary of Donald J. Poole
On January 25, 2024, Auburn, NY lost a valued and beloved member of its community when Donald J. Poole, 86 passed away peacefully at Matthew House surrounded by his family. Donald was also known as Poolsie, Don, Donny, Dusty, Big Boy, Ralph (for Ralph Kiner), Dad, Pa, Pa Pa Born on June 12, 1937, Don was a lifelong resident of Auburn, NY and married to his high school sweetheart and scorekeeper, Jean (Glancy) for 63 years. Don was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, and uncle. Don is a graduate of Holy Family High School where he was an outstanding basketball, football, and baseball player. In his senior year he scored a record 47 points in the basketball game against Onondaga Central. He was the last student to cross the stage at graduation before Holy Family closed in 1957. He earned that distinction because he was the tallest student. After graduation, Don attended Auburn Community College and Middle Georgia College on a basketball scholarship. At ACC he played basketball and held the rebounding record with 32 rebounds in a single game. After college, Don followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Correction Officer at Auburn Prison for 27 years until his retirement in 1986. Don was the Superintendent of Fort Hill Cemetery for 25 years and the City of Auburn Recreation Department’s Sports Supervisor. Don was raised Irish Catholic and has a strong faith, he was a long-standing parishioner at St. Mary’s Church. Don was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus and served as Grand Knight. Don had a love for sports. As a young boy, you would find Don at the Y-Field with his friends. Notre Dame was his favorite college team. He visited Notre Dame in 2006 with his best friend Tom McGee and Tom’s family. He played in Auburn’s first CYO basketball game in 1950 and the city’s first Babe Ruth baseball game in 1952. After college, he played for several local semi-pro teams. Don’s love of sports continued into his adult life where he coached Mount Carmel’s basketball and baseball teams. In 1963, he coached the Babe Ruth All-Star Team that played in California. When the Auburn Tennis Club was opened Don and Jean would play tennis with a great group of friends. Don loved watching his grandsons play sports, especially baseball. Don was one of the most caring and giving individuals you would ever meet. As a Knight, Don exemplified the four key pillars of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism. He served his country in the National Guard. He was steadfast in his service to his community as well. Don was elected to two terms on the Auburn City Council. In the community, he volunteered his time with Neighborhood House, Booker T. Washington, United Way Fundraising, Pop Warner Board President, Chapel House, Unity House & Matthew House. In 2019, Don received the 9th Annual Atkins Community Service Award recognizing his invaluable community service. Don’s favorite thing was taking care of his family. Over the past few weeks, Don’s family has heard so many wonderful stories. He loved to play practical jokes on his family and friends. Don was an Auburn legend. The words that best describe Don are thoughtful, caring, strong, kind, hardworking, empathetic, generous, giving, faithful, charitable, loyal, humorous, and athletic. Don is survived by his wife Jean (Glancy) Poole, his three daughters and their families: Colleen, Tim, Timmy, Jenn and Aviana Locastro. Kripper, Sean and Finn O’Brien and Tracy Poole. His siblings, Tom Poole, Barbara Griffin, Kay McLaughlin & Ann Marie Yannotti and many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly. Don was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Catherine (O’Connell) Poole, his Aunt Mary and Uncle Socky Williams, his siblings: Pauline Bachman, John Poole, James (Doc) Poole and three infant siblings. Don’s family would like to thank the staff at the Finger Lakes Center for the Living and most recently Angela Ryan, Shelly MacBain and the wonderful volunteers and staff at Matthew House for welcoming them with open arms and giving them a home to help Don transition to his next chapter. Family and friends are invited for calling hours 2:00pm-6:00pm at Farrell’s Funeral Service, Inc. 84 South St. Auburn, NY 13021 on Sunday, January 28, 2024. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 11:00 am. in St. Mary's Church, Auburn. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. To honor Don’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Matthew House 43 Metcalf Dr. Auburn, NY 13021.