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James “Jim” M. Poole

James “Jim” M. Poole ’73, 68, passed away on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at Stormont Vail Hospital. He was the husband of the late Kelly Shultz Poole and the father of Joel Poole.

James Michael “Jim” Poole, 68, was born on January 3, 1955, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and passed away March 2, 2023, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kansas. He was affectionately called Jim and Papa Jim by his many friends and family.

After the untimely death of his mother at an early age, Jim and his brothers attended Milton Hershey Boarding School in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1973 and immediately joined the Army. Jim was stationed in Hawaii and then Ft. Riley, where he met his wife, Kelly Shultz. After a short stay in Germany, Jim was medically discharged in 1986. Upon return to the states, he and Kelly chose to reside in Kelly’s hometown of Junction City, Kansas. They welcomed their only child, Joel, on December 14, 1986.

Jim spent many years working as a driver for Coca Cola and then Wonder Bread until Kelly became terminally ill in 2008. He loved Junction City and also spent nearly 30 years supporting and volunteering for Junction City Junior Baseball Association. In Jim’s last ten years of employment, he found his calling as a parks and recreational grounds keeper for the city of Junction City where he was able to spend much of his time supporting the community in the sport he loved. He could be found many summer days and nights working the baseball fields or running the score boards at North Park or Rathert Field. Jim took great pride in Junction City and its parks and ball fields.

Jim was a kind soul who didn’t know a stranger. In his final years after retirement, if he wasn’t at the ball fields, Jim could most often be found spending time with his grandchildren, whom he absolutely adored. He spent every chance he could to dote on them and lend a helping hand.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Nona, his loving wife Kelly, and his sister-in-law Lu Poole. Jim is survived by his son Joel and daughter-in-law Christine, two grandchildren Braeden and Camryn, his sister Kathleen (Butch) Poehler and brothers Robert (Sandi), William, Thomas (Darla), Donald (Ann), Richard (Stephanie), and Timothy (Meredith), as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim chose cremation and a Celebration of Life is being planned for later in the spring. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set in place through Venmo @Jim-Poole-Memorial. The family also asks that you consider donating to recreational youth sports in your community. Jim understood the importance of providing for our youth in fun, inclusive, and affordable activities, and he epitomized that belief in his many years volunteering with JCJBA youth baseball.

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