In Memoriam: Victoria Simes Poole, 1927-2018
CELT lost one of its most ardent and beloved members, with the passing of Victoria Poole last month. Victoria was born in Cape Elizabeth and lived many of her 90 years here. She and her husband Parker were early and instrumental supporters of the land trust and Victoria continued to be active until her passing.
Frank Strout remembers, “Vicky was a dear family friend and neighbor; it was a true pleasure to serve with her on the CELT Board. She was a leader and had words of wisdom on many fronts in the early years of the land trust. She was not shy about asking for donations in a way that only Vicky could! When we needed someone to write an article, her eloquent command of the English language made her the one we always turned to. Her love of Cape Elizabeth, the land, the people, her quick wit and sense of humor made her so special. Nancy and I ran into Vicky at the airport in Baltimore a couple of years ago. I offered to help her with her bags, and I thought she might slap me! She said, with her big smile, “I can manage just fine, thank you.”
This fall, when CELT President Elizabeth Goodspeed invited Vicky to remain on CELT’s Advisory Council, she answered, “You’re stuck with me.” Says Elizabeth, “We were fortunate as an organization to have her vision, enthusiasm, and support literally since our founding in 1985. We will all miss her greatly.”
Vicky was known not just for her work with CELT, but for being involved with many causes. Son Charlie Poole notes, “I think she did almost everything you could imagine; she had a wonderful life and we will miss her a lot. A friend of mine who knew her well called her a ‘force of nature’ and that she was!”
Tim Robinson was a lifelong friend. “She was always cheerful, enthusiastic, witty, warm and all sorts of other wonderful things, and somehow I always felt better after having talked with her. She stands out in my memory as a truly extraordinary person.”
In addition to her large family and her volunteer work, Vicky enjoyed running and competed in the Beach to Beacon for many years. She was honored one year by her friend, Joan Benoit Samuelson, with a lifetime race bib bearing the number 1927 – the year she was born.
Victoria was often seen out walking, all over town. Her daughter Tina (Poole) Thomas recalls, “Our mother loved to walk the roads of Cape Elizabeth, taking in the many beautiful views. From Old Ocean House Road, she would set off to Shore Road and Fort Williams, or to Crescent Beach State Park and back along Fowler Road and Great Pond, where I know she skated as a child. Sometimes she liked to walk up…to the Spurwink Church to visit the gravesite of her husband and son Sam. My mother was not big on bumper stickers, but the CELT logo was proudly displayed on her little Ford Focus! She would probably want to say to anyone reading this, ‘Please be good stewards of this beautiful land we are so fortunate to share!’”
A memorial service will be held in May; more details can be found in her obituary.