Udee Pool was born in Berryville, Arkansas, December 23, 1920, daughter of John and Vinnie Hanks. Udee’s father died when she was three, leaving her mother to raise three small children. When her mother remarried, the family moved to Lancaster, California.
At ten years of age, Udee gave her young heart to the Lord in a local church service, and a life-long dedication to God was birthed. At 16 years of age, feeling the call of God on her life, and with 25 cents given to her by her “Mother Dear,” she headed for Los Angeles, California to attend Life Institute of Foursquare Education--LIFE.
Dropped off at a residence of a church acquaintance, she found no one at home. Alone, in an unfamiliar neighborhood, sitting on the steps with one small suitcase, she found it growing dark and cold. A neighbor lady, whom Udee had never met, invited her into their home for dinner and to spend the night.
The next morning she walked four blocks to LIFE Bible College and gave them her 25 cents to register. She had to promise to find a job—which she did that afternoon. Udee paid the $1.00-per-week tuition on her monthly waitress salary.
It was at LIFE that Udee met one of her room mates and life-long friends, Edith Heard (not “Heard” at the time, of course). It was also while at LIFE, during the administration of Aimee Semple McPherson, that she met a 23-year-old “Tall, dark and handsome” singing cowboy student by the name of Cecil Pool. At the age of 18, following their first revival, she married the only love of her life. They had to borrow $1.79 for gas money to get to the ceremony. For 47 years, they faithfully served the Lord together.
Cecil and Udee had two daughters; Gwendolyn Joyce and LaDonna Jewel. Joyce and her husband, Vernon Carr, reside in Oklahoma; LaDonna and her husband, Bill Morrell, reside in Arizona.
This incredible woman had a passion for teaching. It was a life-long dream. After the Lord called her “singing cowboy” home, she earned degrees from LIFE College and graduated at age 69 from Azusa Pacific University with a Master’s degree in Religion.
Udee’s dream came true when she came to teach here at Messenger College in Joplin, Missouri. It was here that she was in her glory. The students were her love--slumber parties at her home, personalized holiday gifts, and special field trips. They were all “her kids.”
Udee was a gifted and published writer. She wrote and implemented the Christian Education curriculum for the Pentecostal Church of God. While at Messenger College she directed the external studies division for continuing education. Udee was truly blessed with many talents and gifts, but the one gift that stood above all others was her love for giving monetarily and of herself.
Udee held no fear in telling people about her wonderful Lord and had no inhibitions to prevent her stopping to talk with total strangers about Jesus. When she talked about the goodness of God to a young girl from Arkansas, telling how God had blessed her life, her eyes sparkled. She smiled, her speech became defined—He was HER God, HER Saviour, HER life, HER everything.
Surely the Heavenly Father has greeted this anointed woman of God with...”Welcome home, Udee, you have been a faithful servant...you are going to like it here—it’s first class!
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