Mattie Blanchard Poole

Sunrise: March 18, 1926

Sunset: September 10, 2020

Early Life & Education

Mattie Virginia Blanchard Poole was born to the late Bessie Littlejohn and William E. (Ed) Blanchard, in the Hattonsville section of Portsmouth, VA. She was guided by her parents and other family members along the pathway to Christianity and gaining an education. She was the eldest of three girls. Her sisters, Mamie Elizabeth Blanchard Pierce and Willie Mae Blanchard Brown shared great adventures and enjoyed each other’s company. After graduating from Key Road Elementary (Norfolk County) at age 11, she went on to I.C. Norcom High School (Portsmouth) and graduated at age 15. She graduated from Virginia State University (then Virginia State College) with a Bachelors of Arts degree at the age of 19. An avid lover of writing, literature and the arts, Mattie, continued her graduate education at Columbia University in NYC (Masters of Arts), and later studied at Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University.


Mattie’s first teaching job was at Northampton County High School (on the Virginia side of the Eastern Shore) where she taught English, French, and Social Studies. She then returned to her alma mater, I.C. Norcom High School, to teach English, International Relations, and American Government. Her last teaching foray was at Churchland High School teaching English and Composition. She retired from the Portsmouth Public School system in June, 1986.

Ministries & Affiliations

Mattie was an active lifelong member of the Olive Branch Baptist Church. She was active in a number of ministries that included: Deaconess Ministry, #2 Female Ushers (Oaks Usher Board), Board of Christian Education, Willie Mae Brown Scholastic Committee, Vacation Bible School, and the Wednesday Noonday Bible Study Group. Other affiliations included: National Education Association, Virginia Education Association, Virginia State University Alumni Association, Northampton County High School Alumni Association, Life Membership of the NAACP, and the I.C. Norcum High School Association.

Later Life

Mattie was married to the late Nealy A. Poole of Nassawadox, VA for 41 years. They were married at Olive Branch Baptist Church and later had two children, Lynda and Kenneth. For a short time after they married, they lived with Mattie’s parents on Trotter Street in Hattonsville.

Mattie passed away quietly at the Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center after a brief illness. Continuing to cherish precious memories of her are: her daughter, Lynda P. Prioleau (Mark); son Kenneth, nieces Rev. Cn. Karen B. Montagno and Shirley Paige (Bryan); nephew Craig Poole (Linda); two brothers-in-law, Dr. George W. Brown and Norman Poole (Rose); a great niece, Kira Simone; three great nephews, Serrano Elias Montagno, Solomon Joseph Montagno, and, Pierce Paige; a great aunt (who turns 101 in November) Lucille Davis; cousin, Thurston Littlejohn (Ernestine); special cousin, Sharron Rawlins (James); special friends, Marie Byrdsong, Margaret Edwards, and Frieda Jones (GA); and a host of other cousins, relatives, friends, and students.

Viewing Friday, September 18, 2020 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 5605 Portsmouth Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23701 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Saturday, September 19, 2020 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Portsmouth Chapel Interment Olive Branch Baptist Church Cemetery 2608 Airline Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23701 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance

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  1. reply
    Carolyn Gary Glover says

    My condolences to the family,my prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time.Our Lord said he would never leave us nor forsake us.
    I’ve known Ms Poole all my life,I,too was born in Hattonsville my grandfather was a member of Olive Branch(Robert Gary)She also taught me at I C Norcom,she was a kind and gentle lady,I will never forget her.

  2. reply
    Dr. and Mrs. Marvin Bradley says

    Mrs. Poole will be truly missed by all whose lives she touched. We pray comfort for the family at this most difficult time. RIP

    • reply
      Norma Ragland says

      Dear Lynda, Kenneth, and Family,
      My sincere condolences to you at this time. Mattie was a dear neighbor and co-worker for many years.
      May your memories give you comfort as you celebrate her life. May God bless you and comfort you.
      Norma Ragland

  3. reply
    Ronald Barnes says

    My Condolence to the family.Mrs Poole was one of my best teachers. She was a kind and sweet person. R.I.P. Mrs Poole.

  4. reply
    Phyllis Lee Porter says

    My condolences to the family of Mrs. Mattie Poole. I was blessed to be one of her students at Churchland High School. She was a great teacher and friend. The presence of this great lady will be missed in Portsmouth, VA.

  5. reply
    Charles E. Johnson, Jr. says

    Mrs. Mattie Poole was a mentor to me in the 1960’s. I will never forget her stern but humble smile to let you know there is a right way/wrong way in how you present oneself in public. As a Historian by Nature and Profession, I will say, she may be physically gone but in my heart never forgotten.

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