‘He did an awful lot in his short life’

Queen’s graduate Gregory Poels died in Kingston June 28

Gregory Poels, ArtSci ’09, with his two dogs, Java Bean (left) and Ice-dog. Poels died in his sleep June 28.
Gregory Poels, ArtSci ’09, with his two dogs, Java Bean (left) and Ice-dog. Poels died in his sleep June 28.
Credit: 
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Gregory Poels will be remembered as a soft-spoken man and good listener.

Poels, ArtSci ’09, died in his sleep at his home in Kingston on June 28.

His father, Ben Poels, told the Journal results from a medical autopsy are inconclusive.

A private funeral was held on July 2.

The family is setting up an academic bursary in his name.

Jessy Arijanto, ArtSci ’09, said she and Poels sat together in MATH385.

“You know one of those people that would want to offer help without asking anything in return? He was one of those,” she said.

The two were paired as work partners for the term.

“He was very easygoing and he just made class a lot more fun,” Arijanto said. “He’s not just a very good person but a very good-hearted person.”

Gregory’s mother Anne Poels said he kept largely to himself during his time at Queen’s because he spent a lot of time working in the community and was rarely on campus.

He started a machining company, G&J Machining & Performance, with a friend in 2006 and did some repair work for local truckers.

Poels also owned three houses near campus and rented them out to students.

Before he died, he was developing a computer program to predict stock market trends and was preparing to attend St. Thomas University in Miami for law school in the fall.

“He did an awful lot in his short life,” Poels said. “He was interested in so many things.”

Poels loved animals and owned a Doberman, named Java Bean, and a golden retriever, Ice-dog.

“It wasn’t that long ago that at one of his houses on Nelson St. he found a dog,” she said. “He brought it home, looked all over Kingston, put it in the paper and somebody called and claimed the dog.”

Poels suffered from anxiety and it took him seven years to complete his honours degree.

“It was a hard struggle for him but he kept plugging away,” Ben Poels said. “He showed that, for students who face adversity when they go to university, you can overcome it.”

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