Frank Poole MD

May 19, 1923July 4, 2013

Robert Franklin Poole, MD, 90, went to be with the Lord on July 4, 2013, dying peacefully at the William Dunlap Center for Caring (Hospice Home), after a battle with cancer. Frank was born in Abbeville, S.C., attended Fred Olds School in Raleigh, and graduated from Broughton High School in 1940. He graduated from Clemson University in 1943 while his father was President of Clemson. He attended Duke Medical School and did surgical and pediatric internships at Duke, where he met his faithful and loving wife of 67 years, Harriet Morrison of Birmingham, Alabama. From 1949-1951, they lived near Hiroshima, Japan, where Frank worked on the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, studying the children whose parents were exposed to radiation. From 1952-54, Frank was Chief of Pediatrics at Army-Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the US Medical Corps. Frank was active in the Boy Scouts of America at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church and received the Eagle Scout Award in 1938. It was quite a special time for him when son Bill achieved the coveted Eagle Scout Award in 1972 at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. Returning to his boyhood home of Raleigh in 1954, Frank began a solo pediatric practice. During his 60 years as a pediatrician, he helped start 5 practices in Raleigh that currently care for over 200,000 patients collectively. He was one of the first pediatricians to work at the African-American St. Agnes Hospital. Dr. Frank was always a champion for children regardless of race or income. For almost 30 years, he worked alongside son Jim and many physicians, nurses and staff, who dearly loved and respected him as a caring, gentle doctor, treating not only children but also focusing on the parents, often doing house calls when families could not get to the office and accepting homegrown produce rather than cash for office visits. Frank was a long time member of the Raleigh Academy of Medicine, Wake County Medical Society, N.C. Medical Society and American Medical Association. Frank was proud to follow in his father’s footsteps as a long time member of the Rotary Club of Raleigh downtown, best known for their wonderful service to the community. He was a member for 49 years and was extremely proud of daughter Cindy’s active involvement in the club and who just completed her year as president. A Master Gardener, Frank’s garden was a staple on the Raleigh Garden Tours with brick walks meandering over their ¼ acre yard, filled with 600 azaleas and a backyard creek which he and his 3 children worked as a team to create. At one time, the yard was on the National Men’s Garden Club tour. His involvement with gardening led to the cherished honor of being voted President of the Virginias and Carolinas District of Men’s Garden Clubs. Dr. Frank and Harriet loved their Bald Head Island home, lovingly called the “Tree House”, which they built, worked on and entertained in for 30 years, traveling to and from Raleigh most weekends. They were members of the Generator Society before power came to the island. Nothing could get in the way of Frank’s weekly golf matches, in which he was a fierce competitor for many years at the Carolina Country Club. Using his gardening expertise, he also oversaw and was involved in the building of a greenhouse and the planting and growing of thousands of azaleas that now blanket the golf course. Another of Frank’s great loves was attending Clemson football games. Many a Saturday Frank and Harriet watched the Clemson football players race down the “Hill”, play the game, and always stayed to the end of the game to sing the Alma Mater. He was a Tiger through and through, a loyal member of IPTAY and the Clemson Alumni Association. Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Franklin Poole, PhD and Margaret Bradley, brother Tom and sister Margaret Cuttino and son, Frankie, who died at age 7 from complications of cerebral palsy. Frank is survived by his wife, Harriet; brother Bill (Ann), sister Marcia Moore (Ken); sons, Jim (Lillian) and Bill (Caryll), and daughter Cindy Poole Roberts (David); grandchildren, Jimmy (Katie), Matthew (Ashley), Chris (Maury), William, Branson, Dash and Alex; four great-grandchildren Lilly, Parker, Wilde and Hattie (born July 3, 2013), and many nieces and nephews. One of the favorite memories of all the family was listening to “Granddad” play the harmonica, usually renditions of “Amazing Grace”, “O When the Saints” and, of course, the “Clemson Fight Song.” A memorial service will be conducted at 1:00 pm on Thursday, July 11, 2013 at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. There will be a visitation in Pickard Hall after the service. There will be an additional memorial service at Clemson University, date to be determined. The Poole family is appreciative of the excellent care Frank has received through the years and especially the past few months, including care at Rex Hospital, Duke Raleigh and Duke Durham, the many caring visits from pastors at White Memorial, help at home by Mark and Linda, and most recently, the incredible care at the Hospice Home. In lieu of flowers, family and friends who wish to honor Dr. Frank Poole may send memorial gifts to Clemson University Foundation, Life Sciences, [Memory of R. F. Poole, Jr. MD], P.O. Box 1889, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C. 29633. Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St. Raleigh, NC 27605.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, July 11, 2013

Frank Poole MD

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Lisa Mills

July 19, 2013

I'll always remember how gentle and reassuring Dr. Poole was. He helped me through many a rough spot during my childhood. He was a great man and a great doctor.

July 16, 2013

I was barely 19 years old, a college student, and first time mother when my obstetrician Dr Satterfield referred me to Dr. Poole in January, 1965. Dr. Poole made me feel like I was the best mother ever and that my daughter was the smartest, most beautiful, extraordinary baby girl in the world. He knew we had no insurance so he always treated my husband and me as well as our daughter at no extra cost. "Open your mouth, Mom, and let me see your throat, too." "Now if it were anyone else, I would put their baby in the hospital with bronchitis like this, but I know you will take good care of her." He was a wonderful, kind man. Virginia B Collins, Attorney at Law

Millie Dunn Rogers

July 12, 2013

My siblings and I were patients of Dr. Poole in the 1950's when very few doctors in Raleigh accepted African American patients. I fondly remember my last appointment with him in 1969 when he gave me my pre-college physical. Thank you for all the years of great care.

Leana Bajnath

July 11, 2013

Dr Frank was a wonderful, caring and very understanding doctor. I loved working with him. All the big hugs and kisses will be forever missed . I'm going to miss you Dr Frank .
Your nurse Leana .

Leana Bajnath

July 11, 2013

Dr Frank , was a wonderful doctor. He taught me alot. Loved working with him. I will miss you Dr Frank.
Love you always,your nurse.

Zach Ashton

July 11, 2013

Frank was a joy to talk to especially about college football and his beloved Clemson Tigers. I will always remember how he reached out to me when I was the "new, young guy" at the Rotary Club of Raleigh. Great person - he will be missed.

Eddie Bland

July 9, 2013

Jim this is your past best friend from nearly a lifetime ago on Pineview Street back in the late 1950's. Seems like yesterday playing that hockey game and playing catch. Your dad lived a wonderful and incredible life and one who loved his family and yes, also the Clemson Tigers. Your family are in my prayers. God Bless you all.

Bill Stagg

July 9, 2013

Dr. Poole took good care of me and my brother long ago, from the time I was 4 and my brother was a baby. He was a medical saint in our home, and what he recommended was gospel. One of our fondest stories of a Dr. Poole cure was what he told my mother to do whenever one of her kids had the common cold and runny nose, which usually occurred in the winter, of course -- let them sleep with the windows open in their bedroom. Whenever my mother started to protest about making the runny noses worse, Dr. Poole would say something along the lines of, "Noses are SUPPOSED to run when you have a cold. It's the way the body works. The cold air will help." His common-sense, less-is-often-more approach stood the test of time. Our family mourns the passing of a great doctor and great man.

Tameka-( Smiley as Dr Frank called me) Campbell

July 9, 2013

Dr Frank.. well be forever missed by many..I loved getting the big warm hugs and kisses on the cheek when he entered the office..when asked how are you feeling Dr Frank? He would lift his leg up and down and say I am still kicking :) Dr Frank loved to teach his medical knowledge and I learned much from him..Rest in peace

Cathy Bock

July 8, 2013

Many times, I have been told the story of my premature birth in 1956 - how Dr. Poole held me while my dad drove from the hospital where I was born to another that could better care for a preemie. He cared for me, my sister and brother, and there was no doubt who I would turn to when my children were born. My family sends its condolences to Dr. Poole's family, along with our eternal gratitude for the excellent care he gave to all of us.