Lafayette E. Poole left this world November 26, 2012, embarking on his new adventure in God's own country. He was born July 22, 1932, to Earl and Faye (Nelson) Poole at Brownsville, Arkansas. Times were rough in those days, and Earl gave up smoking cigarettes to save money for their wedding license. From humble beginnings, Lafayette grew into an able and talented young man who was comfortable in any setting. Growing up in a rural area, he learned all about the country life: hunting, fishing, playing, and doing chores. He learned early the value of hard work, and throughout his life, he worked hard and played almost as hard. Lafayette was also known as Lafette, L. E., and just plain "Poole." He was a capable artist whose talent was always in demand. At age four, his family moved into the nearby town of Heber Springs, Arkansas. When he was asked why they were moving, he replied that he was going to high school. The few lucky students who got to attend high school at that time had to move into town to stay with relatives or family friends.
Poole was funny, a great trickster, and possessed a wicked sense of humor. How he managed one of his feats was never discovered, but his was the only name handwritten on the ceiling of the high school gymnasium. After graduating high school, he joined the Air Force and trained as a mechanic. After a year in England, he had saved enough money to bring his fiancee Kay Campbell over, and they were married July 31, 1952, on the Royal Air Force Station Burtonwood in Lancashire. They enjoyed life there, and in 1954, they were joined by son Kevin. In 1955 they returned home to Heber Springs.
He had worked his way through the University of Arkansas as a florist's assistant, plumber, and electrician and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1963. Immediately after the graduation ceremony, he loaded his family consisting of Kay, Kevin, and 18 month old daughter, Robin, to their car and took off for Billings, Montana. In 1965 daughter Tracy completed the family.
Poole served his country in the Air Force, Army, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve , and the National Guard. After 32 years of service, he retired. As he served in the Reserves and Guard, he worked all over Montana and parts of Wyoming, Kansas, and Illinois, sitting wells and developing oil prospects. Three years ago he said he was retiring from working on oil wells; you sure couldn't tell by looking for he never really quit.
Lafayette E. Poole was a respected petroleum geologist who loved living life in Montana.
He hunted, fished, camped, and raised and raced quarter horses. He had some horses who were winners and some who weren't. He considered his children winners and taught them character along with the joys of his many interests. That old, red-haired geologist walked over most of Montana and made many friends spreading friendship, humor, and good will.
We're gonna miss you, Dad.
A memorial service was held Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Interment with military honors followed at the new National Veterans Cemetery, north of Laurel.