James Martin Poole


Services celebrating the life of James Martin Poole will be held on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches, LA.  Visitation will be held preceding the service from 9:00 – 11:00. Officiating will be Rev. Douglas B. Degraffenried.  Rev. Rolly Walker will deliver the message and Rev. Greg Davis will provide a prayer.

James Martin Poole was born July 27, 1929 in New Orleans.  He went to be with his heavenly Father July 2, 2018 in Shreveport after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  His parents were Daniel William Poole Sr. and Helen Grace Sells.  James’ father, Willie, was a minister in the the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church which later became the United Methodist Church.  As a boy he grew up in Donaldsonville, Louisiana (now Gretna), and started school in Mangham.  He then attended school in Tallulah, (and lived there in grades 3 through 7) then DeRidder, and graduated from high school in Deridder in 1946.  His family moved to Natchitoches and James enrolled at Northwestern State College which later became Northwestern State University. He majored in social studies and minored in English.  He received a double major in Social Studies and Education.  While at Northwestern he was member and president of the Honor Court. He also lettered in football and track. On September 10, 1950, he married Lois Retta Strickland.  They both attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. After graduation he became a member of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Oak Ridge – Crew Lake Trails End churches were his first appointment.  While living in Oak Ridge they had two sons, James William and Martin Collier.  Other churches and appointments he served were: Newellton Union Church, Lakeview United Methodist Church in Minden, Vinton United Methodist Church, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Elizabeth Sullivan United Methodist in Bogalusa, First United Methodist Church of Minden, First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches, and District Superintendent of the Ruston district. Upon his retirement he and Retta established their home in Natchitoches.  In retirement he served as an associate at First Methodist, Natchitoches for 14 years. The lives of James and Retta were blessed with the birth of two grandsons from Martin Collier and wife, Susan; Robert Martin and Daniel James.  While serving the Louisiana Conference he was elected by his peers as a delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church and delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church.  While serving at St. Luke’s in Shreveport, he was involved in the opening of Oakwood Home for women and subsequently received awards in honor of his service.

James was an active member of the Natchitoches community, serving as a member of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging, Lions Club and an avid supporter of NSU athletics, music, and other events. He was an active participant in Cursillo, Stephen Ministry and United Methodist Men.  He is also well known and respected for his long standing work with the Boy Scouts of America.  He has served as the Louisiana Conference Scouting Coordinator, attended the National Scouting Jamboree, and served as chaplain at Philmont Scout Ranch.  He received a Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America and through his inspiration and encouragement, he is the proud grandfather of two Eagle Scouts.

James is survived by his brothers Dan Poole of Natchitoches and Frank Poole and wife Mary of Oxford, MS, his sons James William, Martin Collier and wife Susan, grandchildren Robert Martin Poole and Dr. Daniel James Poole.

Donations in Reverend Poole’s memory can be made to the Oakwood Home for Women or James Poole Track Scholarship c/o Demons Unlimited Foundation, NSU Athletic Dept., Natchitoches, LA 71497