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Born: Nov. 8, 1933, in Marlin, Texas
Died: Jan. 20, 2012, in the Life Care Center of Orlando, Fla.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until noon Wednesday at Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Trinity Memorial Park with the Rev. Bill Ivins, pastor of First United Methodist Church, officiating.
John graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas, Texas, in 1953 and attended Howard County Junior College in Big Spring, Texas, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
He was drafted into the Army while attending Texas Tech and stationed in Washington state where he enjoyed fishing, hiking and camping. He received a certificate of achievement from Colonel Dickson, commander of the 39th Infantry for exemplary performance of duty as the Battle Group Draftsman from April 1959 to October 1960 for performance of duties in an outstanding manner while serving in the Second Battle Group 39th Infantry.
The certificate reads "Specialist Fourth Class John D. Pool Jr., Company E, 2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry distinguished himself by exemplary performance of duty as the Battle Group Draftsman, 2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry, from 1 April 1959 to 10 October 1960. Specialist Pool performed his duties as draftsman in an outstanding manner. His calm, deliberate and practical approach and meticulous efforts devoted towards his job has contributed greatly to the effective functioning of this unit both in garrison and in the field. Specialist Pool's devotion to duty has reflected the highest credit upon himself, the 2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry and the military service."
He was promoted to Specialist Fifth Class and was a member of the rifle team of the 39th Infantry and qualified as an expert marksman. John returned to Big Spring after completing his active duty and remained in the active reserves for two years, followed by two years in the reserves for a total of six years of duty. He lived most of his life in Big Spring.
As a young man and before leaving for the military, John worked as a hand on the Morgan Ranch and achieved Top Hand status after a short time. He also cared for the family cattle and his own on the Ratliff Ranch, where the family lived for many years. He worked in the oil field and other fields for years until he retired to care for his mother, Suella Pool. She lived to be 100 years and 3 months in his loving care.
John was a man who loved nature, his family and his long-term friends, being outdoors, hunting, trapping, fishing, collecting guns, hunting fossils and Indian artifacts, and boating off the Texas coast, the Baja Peninsula, and the Bahamas.
Following a stroke and several weeks in Texas hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, he was flown to Florida to be in the care of his sister. He lived at her home for a short while, but after numerous additional health issues, he was hospitalized several times and moved to Life Care Center of Orlando where he was in rehabilitation until his death.
He is survived by his sister, Betsy Pool Thornton and brother-in-law, Jerry W. Thornton of Geneva, Fla., and two nieces, Ginny McCormick-Levack of The Colony, Texas, and Becky Davis of Katy, Texas.
Honorary pallbearers will be Billy Bradberry, Richard Kitchens, Don Williams and Jerry Thornton.
Arrangements are by Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Pay your respects online at www.myersandsmith.com