It is with great sadness that the family of Walter Raymond Poole announces his passing on February 1, 2018. He was 92 years old. He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Boswell Poole, sons Walter Wesley Poole, Clyde Patrick Poole, daughter, Lisa Poole Wildberger, son-in-law David Joel Wildberger, Sr., grandchildren, Mary Celeste Thomas (Gaines), David Joel Wildberger Jr. (Katherine Anne), and great grandchildren, Mary Stallworth Thomas, Earl Gaines Thomas, III, and a third great grandchild, due in June. Mr. Poole is also survived by two siblings, Louise Summerlin (Waverly), Wayne Poole (Judy), as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents and sister, Evelyn Lanier.
On August 15th, 1945 our nation rejoiced as World War II reached its end. One merchant marine named Walter Poole left his small hometown of Castleberry, Alabama to pursue the “great American dream.” No one could imagine the impact that this young man would have on the transportation industry, as well as so many individuals. Mr. Poole was very frugal during his tenure as a marine, sending a portion of his earnings to his parents, while saving the rest to make his first used tractor purchase. He formed a friendship with an Evergreen, AL cotton broker named Bob Kendall. This friendship led to a business relationship, and in 1946 Poole Truck Line was born. His first contract with Kendall was completed with a simple handshake. Mr. Poole hauled cotton from Evergreen to Opelika, AL during his first year of business. He later added another driver, and then a third… and as they say, the rest is history.
For 38 years Mr. Poole operated a profitable and efficient business, which was always based on the principle, “one’s word is their bond.” In 1984, Poole Truck Line was sold to International Utilities. In 1988, instead of retiring, Mr. Poole began a second transportation company (Evergreen Transportation) with his son, Patrick Poole. Then in 1994, Evergreen Transportation was sold to Marquis Holdings. In April 2009, with his son-in-law David Wildberger, and four other investors, Mr. Poole repurchased Evergreen Transportation and renamed it Evergreen Transport, LLC.
Incredibly, Mr. Poole successfully led three transportation companies in his lifetime. His achievements not only served as a model to other entrepreneurs in the transportation industry, but also provided thousands of jobs for many men and women over the last seven decades. Moreover, because of his accomplishments, Mr. Poole has been recognized in textbooks, received an honorary degree in business, and served as a mentor to many in the field. However, these achievements did not eclipse the quality of his character. Mr. Poole’s philanthropic endeavors spoke just as loudly as his business achievements. He served in various positions in his church, regularly donated to local schools and charities, and selflessly helped an untold number of people throughout his lifetime.
A graveside service will be held 2pm., Monday, February 5th, at the Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen, AL. In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations to be given to two charities that were close to his heart: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Pilots for Christ 107 Airport Rd. Monroeville, AL 36460