Joel Smith Poetker, Ph.D.

By | October 27, 2014
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Dr. Joel Smith Poetker, of Jackson, Ohio, formerly of Bexley, Ohio and Buffalo, New York, passed away Monday, October 27, 2014 at Edgewood Manor Nursing Home of Wellston. He was born October 1, 1934 in Jackson, Ohio to the late Norman and Wanda (Smith) Poetker of Jackson, Ohio.

After a childhood spent in Chicago, he graduated from Jackson High School in 1952. He taught at Bexley High School in the 1960s and was Director of the Bexley City Recreation Department. After he earned his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, he was a Professor of history and social studies education and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at State University of Buffalo, New York. After an early retirement due to health issues he enjoyed many years traveling, spending time with his family, and doing genealogical research.

He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Mabel (Riegel) Poetker; children, Susan (E.W.) Johnson of Louisville, Kentucky and Ann (Cliff) Hardin of Richmond, Virginia; grandchildren, Morgan (Brian) Vihlidal, Ashley (Shaun) McKiernan, Courtney (Scott) Carter, Daniel (Tarrah) Hardin, Emily Hardin, and Alexander Poetker (Erin Cook); great-grandchildren, Joel McKiernan, and Henry Vihlidal; daughter-in-law, Carol Poetker and her two sons, Ross and Jimmy Anderson; and aunt, Patty Clark.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Samuel Poetker.

Friends may call at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home of Jackson, Ohio on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 4 to 8 p.m. A graveside service will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Fairmount Cemetery with Diachonal Minister, Janie Karl officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jackson City Library, 21 Broadway Street, Jackson, OH 45640. Online condolences may be sent to