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Published: Thursday, 6/19/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Alonzo H. 'Lon' Poll; 1922-2014: Firm’s chief had talent for business

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
lonzo "Lon" Poll, 92, who was president of the former H. Poll Electric Co. lonzo "Lon" Poll, 92, who was president of the former H. Poll Electric Co.
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Alonzo H. “Lon” Poll, longtime president of the wholesale electrical products firm founded by his father, died Wednesday in Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community. He was 92.

Mr. Poll retired in 1979 as president of H. Poll Electric Co. on North St. Clair Street, which his father, Henry, founded in 1919. The firm at one time also had offices in Findlay, Defiance, and Sandusky. As a wholesale distributor of electrical products and automation components, the company counted Toledo Edison, Owens-Illinois, and Sun Oil as clients.

“Lon was a general all-around great guy who had a lot of business acumen,” said Jim White, Jr., a longtime friend.

“He worked well with the employees, and he related to the employees very well,” said Mr. White, a lawyer who is of counsel and a former managing partner of the firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick.

“I think his strong suit was not only being an internal guy [at H. Poll], but he was the Mr. Outside guy,” Mr. White said. “He was personable and well liked and respected and a great community citizen.”

Mr. Poll was long affiliated with the Toledo Rotary Club and in later years was a member of the Wednesday Nooners, an exclusive luncheon club with a roster that “reads much like a ‘‍Who’s Who’ of the area’s retired corporate and civic leaders,” the late Millie Benson wrote in a 1997 Blade column.

Mr. Poll, who’d lived in West Toledo and Ottawa Hills, had been a director of the Cleveland bank that operated People’s Savings in Toledo, served on the nominating committee of the Western Golf Association, and had been a member of the Inverness Club and Belmont Country Club. He was a former president of the Ottawa Hills Foundation.

His brother, Richard, succeeded him as president of H. Poll Electric. The business closed in July, 2008. His brother died Dec. 6, 2008.

Mr. Poll was a lifetime member of Collingwood Presbyterian Church.

He was a 33rd Degree Mason and was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was born April 11, 1922, to Grace and Henry Poll. He grew up in the Old West End and attended Scott High School. He was an Army Air Corps first lieutenant in World War II and was a navigator in Europe.

Cars were an abiding interest, and he was an investor when the late Ted Papenhagen bought Banham Oldsmobile, Mr. White said. Mr. Poll’‍s then son-in-law Jim Yark rose through the ranks at Papenhagen and in 1983 bought the dealership.

Surviving are his wife, Patricia Poll, whom he married Dec. 18, 1943; son, Richard Poll; daughters Elizabeth Ziegler, Katherine Looney, and Susan Poll; 12 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Collingwood Presbyterian Church.

The family suggests tributes to the church; Parkcliffe Alzheimer’s Community, or Senior Independent Hospice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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