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Bill Poindexter tribute

"the most charming person we ever met and the most devoted friend we ever had".

Our best friend Bill Poindexter passed away Friday November 22 at age 86. 
Bill Poindexter's memorial service was:
Saturday February 1 at 2:00 PM
Madison Avenue Baptist Church
129 Madison Avenue (31st Street)
in Manhattan

We are comforted that he had a great life right up to the last minute.  He was out and about in fine form in Christmassy New York holiday shopping and running errands.  He stopped by the Union Square Christmas market to visit a friend of ours who had a fashion watch booth to show her his watch collection and went on to Michaels craft store to buy a gift for a friend of ours whose name he had drawn from a hat for an upcoming Christmas gathering we are having.  All who saw him that day said he had his typical twinkle in his eye and was his usual witty chatty self.  Then he stopped by Trader Joes  where he bought some of his favorite dishes for dinner.  While still there, he had a sudden heart attack.

His family in consultation with his Pastor agreed it best to have a memorial service after the yearend holidays.  The memorial was held in New York at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church on Madison Avenue at 31st Street, where Bill was a member of the congregation as well as the board.

There is more to share about Bill in the obituary that his family posted  on Facebook: 

It also appears as a New York Times on-line only obituary:

Bill was a part of our family for many years and was due to be with us for Thanksgiving dinner.  We will still set a place for him at the table Thursday and share fond memories of the most charming person we ever met and the most devoted friend we ever had. 

Bill's daughter Caroline Jenks


Poindexter’s brother-in-law Delbert Steffen. The father of Jeff and Lori
Not sure where he lives. Was married to Poindexter’s sister 

Poindexter’s nephew Jeff Steffen
Lori’s brother, son of Poindexter’s sister (who died a few years ago so Jeff and Lori are the closest living relatives)
Jeff was there with his wife Amy
They live in Wassau WI 

Poindexter’s niece Lori Prophet 
Her mother was Poindexter’s sister
She was at the service with her husband Carl Prophet and two daughters
They live in Colorado Springs, CO 

from Bill Jenks:
 In speaking with people after Bill passed away, five of them said "You know Bill was MY best friend too".  Shows what a remarkable guy he was.  I then talked about several reasons that made him so special.

1 He was without a doubt hands down the best story teller ever.  He had a story about every stage of his life.  The earliest was when he was 6.  It was 1939 and he and his friend had just seen the Wizard of Oz and wanted to stay Munchkin size and heard smoking would stunt their growth.  So they snuck some cigarettes and smoked them in the car in the garage.  A little while later smoke started billowing out, the fire department came identified the cause as cigarettes and matches in the back seat.  Bill's vivid memory was his feet never touching the ground as his mother toted him to the house by one arm and spanking him with the other.

The other story of his I told was in the mid-1960s when he was hired by International Paper in San Francisco and took a room in a boarding house.  You get to know everyone dining with them every night and everyone got concerned when one evening one of the young women did not show up.  It turned out she was in the hospital having been riding a cable car when it crashed.  Sometime thereafter the local headlines named her "The Cable Car Nymphomaniac" because after the accident she had that affliction and she sued the city for damages.  We weren't sure whether or not to believe that story until 50 years later there was a theater production called the The Cable Car Nymphomaniac and press coverage verifying the whole story.  Didn't run long enough for us to see it.  We wondered who played Poindexter.

2  He was an artistic genius.  I talked about his paintings, including the one on the last issue of the Kismet Directory, and about his Kismet house Holiday House in which he did all the master craftsman woodworking himself.

3 He was a member of my family and loved each of my kids as his own. Tessa who was his god daughter, a responsibility he took very seriously.  Caroline whose shenanigans growing up in Kismet were the source of a number of his best stories (Caroline told one when she spoke, about her asking him to take arms off her Barbie dolls so she could get new ones) and Dylan who he thought could be a professional political commentator or film critic.  And he and Cindy had become best friends and talked almost every day on the phone where Cindy relied on his experience and advice.


Susan Sparks, minister of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church
Used to be a stand-up comic
"The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it"  She was referring to the huge amount of charitable work Bill did consistently. Some of the recipients were tearfully there. "He gave coffee, donuts, and comfort".

Among the attendees:





Tessa Jenks, Bill's goddaughter
"Bill taught me how to paint and enjoy other people...we loved him"






also in attendance :
Ken & Laurie, Joe Beck, Fran, Roz & Arlene H, Susan Welt's lovely sister Adrianne and others.

 The beautiful church was filled to capacity in tribute to our dear friend.
 It was a lovely service, filled with Bill's favorite hymns, touching in its simplicity, dignity and humor that Bill would have loved.

It will be strange not to see him peddling around Kismet in his signature suspenders and dining at their special table at the Inn with best friend Bill Jenks