Obituary: Robert Poole, longtime distribution executive, salesman

Home News Obituary: Robert Poole, longtime distribution executive, salesman

RENO, NEV.—Robert Poole, formerly of Sylvania, Ohio, and long time owner and president of Poole Distributing and Seaway Carpets in Toledo, Ohio, passed away peacefully on May 17. He was 84.

Poole, who enjoyed his work until his retirement at the age of 80, served in the Navy during WWII. After graduating from the University of Toledo’s College of Business Administration in 1952, he eventually became involved in the flooring industry, working for a distributor in Michigan in the early to mid-50s before opening up Poole Distributing and Seaway Carpets in Toledo, where he was owner and president from 1957 to 1980.

He then went on to work for Diamond Carpet Mills, ultimately receiving its national salesman of the year award. After his time at Diamond, Poole went into semi-retirement in Reno, but would fly out to Ohio half a dozen times a year selling carpet for Best Buy Carpet Mills of Dalton. Poole also enjoyed playing golf, and was a member of the Highland Meadows Golf Club for 30 years.

“Nobody was going to make him stop working; he truly enjoyed it, the interaction with people,” said George Vagotis of Georgia Mills Carpet Outlet in Elyria, Ohio, whom Poole called upon during his years at Poole Distributing and Diamond. “For more than 50 years in the industry, he was extremely professional. He kept his business simple, and did a great deal of business.

“Bob was a huge roll seller,” he explained, “and he never had a cell phone. He was an amazing man, very well organized. He was the consummate professional. He was one of the most respected men I’ve ever met.”

Poole’s wife of 60 years, Dorothy, said her husband worked until he was 80 because he loved it. “Eventually, he was asked to give up his territory so that a younger man could cover it. Months and even years later, after he had retired, we would get calls from people wanting to know who was supposed to be covering the territory that Bob had covered. Whoever was doing it apparently was not doing the job that Bob had done.”

In addition to his wife, Poole is survived by his children, Linda Ames; Robert Poole Jr.; Jeffrey Poole (Margee), and Sally Honnold (John), along with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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