On February 6, 1949 William E. Poore appeared on the earthly stage. Times would never be the same. He was the son of Ross and Gloria Howard Poore. He was born in the Dragerton, Utah hospital. He primarily attended school in Price and Sunnyside. He was sophomore class president at East Carbon High School and was also active in speech and drama. The family relocated to Salt Lake City where he continued his education at Highland High School where he excelled in the theater department. He met Ersel Allred, who was his teacher, mentor and lifelong friend. Bill graduated from Highland in 1967.
He started the University of Utah in 1967. After a year he joined the U.S. Coast Guard, serving for four years. His boot camp was at Alameda and then a year on a buoy tender in Alaska. He received radio training in New York. He served his remaining service in Astoria, Oregon and USCG Air-station, California. He discharged honorably.
He returned to Salt Lake City and entered the “U” again. He was active in student government representing the College of Fine Arts. At graduation he was selected for the Beehive Honorary Society for service to the University of Utah. He graduated in 1976 with a BFA in Theater.
After graduation he was off to New York City and Broadway. He worked for the next ten years on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theater and served as an assistant to several producers becoming associated with most of the leading General Managers, Press Agents, Playwrights, and Directors during that period. Plays he was associated with were Gemini, Fifth of July, Ned and Jack, Curse of the Aching Heart, and the Tony award winning Torch Song Trilogy. He left New York for San Francisco, Hollywood, Palm Springs and San Diego. He was a critically acclaimed director for over ten years. His own production of The Masseur was Pick of the Week for the LA Weekly and nominated for several awards. He also had his own acting studio and taught commercial acting in LA. He met and knew many stars including Ronald Reagan, Kathryn Hepburn, Sammy Davis and Helen Hayes. He returned to Salt Lake to help his mother with her medical and personal needs.
He spent numerous years helping young people in treatment centers, sponsoring them in AA and other programs. He helped many change the direction of their lives and personal choices. He made a difference. His last position was ten years as an Adjunct Professor in the Theater Department at the “U. He was appointed by the Board of Trustees in 2010. He especially loved working with the many football players in his introductory classes. He loved the job, his evaluations reflect that he was also loved by his students.
Bill was a complex personality, independent, brilliant and committed to civil rights and dignity for everyone. He died a proud member of the LGBTQ community. Cancer brought down the final curtain of his life on March 27, 2023. He was a warrior.
William is survived by his brother, Ross (Chris); sister, Jeannie Poore; sister, Janice Harvey (Jim); niece, Courtney Featherstone; nephews, Ben Poore, Justin VanBibber,
Thomas Marcus, Todd Marcus and Ryan Poore; and friend, Ben Williams.
Special thanks to Jim Harvey for his dedication and commitment to Bill’s comfort and care in the end.
A private service will be held on July 1, 2023 at the Lindquist’s Memorial Park at Layton, 1867 N. Fairfield Rd.