Feb. 24, 1931 – July 21, 2022
Daniel Willam Poole Jr., 91, of Natchitoches went to be with his Lord Jesus July 21, 2022, in Shreveport. Dan was born Feb. 24, 1931, in New Orleans to Daniel William (Willie) Poole and Helen Sells Poole.
Dan grew up a Methodist preacher’s son and lived in Tallulah, DeRidder and Natchitoches. He graduated from Natchitoches High School in 1948. He attended and graduated from Northwestern State College (now University – NSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Mathematics. Upon graduation, he was drafted into the United States Army. He spent six months in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., then spent 18 months in southern Germany. He was honorably discharged in August 1954.
He married Nelwyn Boydstun in 1954, and they were married for 64 years until Nelwyn’s death in 2018.
He also attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge obtaining his Master’s Degree in Health and Physical Education in 1955.
He then began a long career of service in education. He taught and coached at Ouachita High School in Monroe, Fairview Alpha High School and Waterproof High School (his 1962 track team were State Champions) before moving on to Natchitoches High School in 1963. He taught biology, mathematics and coached track, football and basketball. All the teams he coached or assisted with were perennial district champions and competed for state championships. The 1969 football team won the State Championship. He later moved into the principal and assistant principal roles and then head principal at the Ninth Grade Center. He was instrumental in the smooth transition of the integration of Natchitoches High School and Central High School into Natchitoches Central High School in 1970.
He retired from Natchitoches Parish Schools in 1988 but continued to teach and substitute teach at St. Mary’s High School, Jasper High School (Texas), Lakeview High School (Campti) and Natchitoches Central and was an adjunct math teacher at NSU.
He was the scoreboard clock keeper at NSU home basketball games for almost 20 years and was Clerk of Course for NSU track meets for 17 years.
He was active in the Natchitoches Parish Retired Teachers group serving as President for several years. He received the Distinguished Educator Award from NSU in 2018.
He was active his entire life in the United Methodist Church serving in numerous leadership capacities.
He was especially proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and traveled many miles to watch ball games.
He was an avid golfer. No hole-in-ones until the day he joined his Lord Jesus and his loving wife, Nelwyn, in Heaven.
He touched so many lives. He was an incredibly great example as a son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, coach, teacher and principal. His gentle, patient demeanor was well known. All his family and former players and students looked to him for advice and guidance (and still did up to his death).
He is survived by his three children, Nancy Hildebrand and husband Bruce, Cindy Davis and husband Jim and Daniel William “Bill” Poole III and wife Angela. He was blessed with six grandchildren, John Hildebrand and wife Alice, Jackson Hildebrand and wife Curri, Joseph Hildebrand and wife Emily, Tripp Davis and wife Karen, Daniel William “Will” Poole IV and Autumn Poole Hill and husband Aaron; eight great-grandchildren and one on the way, Hannah Hildebrand, Hayden Hildebrand, Hudson Hildebrand, Ellie Hildebrand, Hazel Hildebrand, Charlotte Hildebrand, Hattie Hildebrand, Adelyn Hildebrand and Lainey Davis (due in November). He is also survived by his brother, Franklin Poole; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as his Dad’s wife, Trudy Wood Poole and her family.
Dan is preceded in death by his loving wife, Nelwyn Boydstun Poole; parents, Willie and Helen Poole; brother and sister-in-law, James and Retta Poole; and sister-in-law, Mary Poole.
The family will receive friends/visitation from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 31 in Bostick Hall at First United Methodist Church followed by the funeral service in the sanctuary at 4 p.m. officiated by the Rev. Gary Willis. Burial will follow at Memory Lawn Cemetery.
Those honored to serve as pall bearers are his six grandchildren.
Honorary pallbearers are all of Dan’s former players and students.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Dan and Nelwyn Scholarship Fund at Northwestern State University or First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches.
The family would like to thank Dr. Paul (Corky) Davis for the incredible care he gave to Coach Poole over his life. Also, thank you to the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living Center and St. Joseph Hospice.
Services are under the direction of Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home.