Artist Sherrie McGraw wrote: “Poole’s artwork directly reflects his renegade attitude throughout his entire life. His work demands closer examination as his style changes as frequently as the Oklahoma wind. In a commercial world, this diversity is not understood. The public demands — or perhaps it is the demand of marketers — that an artist stick with one vision so the work can be easily pegged.
“This easy identification of one’s painting is an untenable position for Poole, who has never been one to take direction from anyone. Though in demeanor, he is polite and gregarious; do not be fooled. O. Gail Poole is a maverick and is, as yet, untamed. Perhaps, he is like a volcano at rest, occasionally letting off a puff of smoke or steam, a glimmering of molten lava, waiting for the moment to fully express his passion within. I am honored to know such a talent as O. Gail Poole.”
Poole’s second passion was politics; he spent a great deal of time and energy working for causes he believed would benefit the community. Poole enjoyed allies of a rare and brave breed, and his family sincerely hopes their opponents will wise up and join them.
An avid genealogist, Poole is fortunately survived by four children, Nicole Poole of New York, Terry Wise of Novato, Calif., Diane Zueger of Seattle and Kerri Decker of Branchville, N.J. He is also survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Finally, Poole’s ex-wife and great friend, Doris, stayed by his side to care for him during his final weeks.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that guests consider a tax-deductible donation to the newly founded “Poole Memorial Travel Fund,” administered by the Norman Arts Council, allowing artists of great merit the freedom and opportunity of travel, which Poole so adored.
Norman Transcript, Thursday, April 25, 2013