OCEAN RIDGE — William “Bill” Poist died April 7. He was 81.
Born on June 11, 1939, in Hanover, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Krug and J.E. Poist, he grew up excelling on both basketball and tennis courts.
But tennis was his lifelong passion, and it was tennis that provided him with so many treasured friendships and experiences.
In high school, young Mr. Poist lettered in varsity basketball and tennis. He received scholarship offers, which ultimately took him to Ohio Wesleyan University. He played basketball his freshman year, but ultimately, he devoted himself to the tennis team.
He racked up unprecedented victories, winning conference, regional and NCAA tournament matches and titles, culminating with his induction into the Ohio Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame in 1971. He finished his college career with a record of 47-5 in singles and 44-3 in doubles.
Prior to graduation, he took six months off from college to receive instruction at the tennis training facility run by Chris Evert’s father in Fort Lauderdale.
He studied abroad at The Institute in Perugia, Italy, where he hoped to play tennis. But, after weeks of record rain, he headed to Milan, then spent the winter in Lech am Arlberg, Austria, where he worked as a night porter in a small hotel and skied during the day. Finally, when the snow melted, he headed to England to play tennis.
Upon obtaining his undergraduate degree, he pursued a master’s in public relations at Boston University, while spending his summers as tennis director at the Corinthian and Eastern yacht clubs, where he also developed a passion for sailing.
Besides enabling him to crew on racing teams up and down the East Coast, sailing was a passion that he and his wife shared during their courtship.
Mr. Poist was grateful for the ability to play competitive tennis well into his late 70s. At the four nationally sanctioned tournaments held annually by the United States Tennis Association, he won gold, silver and bronze ball prizes over the course of his career.
He also played in tennis tournaments in Europe, South America and Asia through the International Tennis Federation. In 2015, when he was 75, he had the distinction of being the ITF’s No. 1-ranked player in his age category in the world.
Mr. Poist began his career in public accounting in 1966, working for a small CPA firm in Westminster, Maryland. From there, he worked with a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., helping doctors, dentists and other medical professionals with tax services and counsel on various issues.
In 1974, he started his own tax, financial and professional consulting firm, Management Consulting for Professionals, while also earning a master’s in taxation and his CPA accreditation.
For almost five decades, Mr. Poist truly cared about and fully engaged with his clients. He laughingly, but lovingly, referred to himself as a “financial psychiatrist,” listening to each client with consummate grace. Mr. Poist remained fully engaged in his tax practice right up until the end.
Mr. Poist is survived by his wife of nearly 47 years, Ann Alexander, and son, Jamie Poist, both of Ocean Ridge. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Poist Huston, and her husband, James Huston; by nephews James Huston and his wife, Vicki; Sean Huston and his wife, Gen, along with their children, Jack and Libby, all of Hanover, Pennsylvania.
His wisdom, wit and wry smile will be sorely missed by his clients, friends and family. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
As per his wishes, Mr. Poist was cremated on April 12. Lorne & Sons Funeral Home, Delray Beach, is in charge of arrangements.
Donations may be made to York Adams Community Tennis Association, 225 Bowman Road Rear, Hanover, PA 17331, or to the charity of your choice.
Obituary submitted by the family