Lawrence ‘Larry’ Poll, utility zone mechanic, 66

Lawrence “Larry” E. Poll, a utility zone mechanic in facilities, died Sunday, Feb. 17. He was 66.

Born in 1941 in St. Louis, Poll, a graduate of Wellston High School, worked at the Jefferson Barracks veteran’s hospital in South St. Louis County before he was hired by the University as a mechanic in 1981.

Larry Poll

Any WUSTL student, faculty or staff member who enjoyed cool air while inside a Danforth Campus building on a hot summer day last year has Poll to thank; most recently, he worked to maintain the University’s chillers, which are large cooling units that supply air-conditioning for the campus.

What stood out about Poll to John Perkins, utility zone manager and Poll’s supervisor, was his reliability. “He came in every day and did his job, and never caused any problems,” said Perkins, who had worked with Poll for nearly 22 years. “He enjoyed what he did, and he took pride in his work.”

Poll, who was recognized for 26 years of service to the University at Staff Day last year, consistently worked to make the University a safer and more friendly place — whether it be through helping to put out fires in the George McMillen Lab and Wohl Center, assisting students with their move into residence halls, fixing faulty Holmes Lounge wiring so a wedding reception could have music, or helping a student fish her keys out of a crack in a floor.

Poll is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary Louise; two daughters, Mary Poll-Collins and Tina Stemmler; and three grandchildren, Christina, Andrew and Melanie Stemmler. A funeral service was held Feb. 21.

Anyone who wants to share a story about Poll or give their condolences is asked to visit, search for “Poll” and sign the online guest book. A slideshow and video of his life is featured as well. They also can e-mail the family at