‘Behind the scenes’ man Poulson gets called into spotlight as Samuel Jones Award winner

Larry Poulson (left) holds the 2019 Warren’s Samuel Jones Pioneer Award, presented to him by the 2018 recipient, Jeff Souder, during a breakfast held Friday, July 5, at the Knight Bergman Center. Poulson also holds the Key to the Town of Warren, which was also presented to him. Both awards acknowledged Poulson’s many years of service to the community as an electrician, fire chief, EMS driver, volunteer and board member.
Larry Poulson (left) holds the 2019 Warren’s Samuel Jones Pioneer Award, presented to him by the 2018 recipient, Jeff Souder, during a breakfast held Friday, July 5, at the Knight Bergman Center. Poulson also holds the Key to the Town of Warren, which was also presented to him. Both awards acknowledged Poulson’s many years of service to the community as an electrician, fire chief, EMS driver, volunteer and board member. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

A man known for his “behind the scenes” activities was honored in the spotlight Friday, July 5, as Larry Poulson was named Warren’s 31st Samuel Jones Pioneer Award winner for 2019.

The announcement was made at the Knight Bergman Center during the annual Samuel Jones Breakfast. Poulson’s wife Roselyn, his sons Lee, Joe and Ron and their families were on hand to lend their support.

Poulson dedicated many years to the Warren Fire Department, serving from 1963 until 2004, serving as assistant chief and as chief for many of those years. He was also part of the Tri-Township Emergency Management Service as a driver. He was an employee of the Town of Warren for approximately 40 years as the town’s electric department employee, overseeing projects as well as day-to-day operations of that department.

Last year’s Samuel Jones Award winner, Jeff Souder, outlined Poulson’s volunteerism, saying he served as the “on call” electrician for the Huntington County 4-H during the annual 4-H fair and assisted in the installation of the sound system. A member of the Warren United Church of Christ, he volunteered many hours of electric expertise for the building as well as lending his services to other things, such as holding the door open and carrying purchases during the annual Fall Craft Bazaar.

“Many more activities had Larry’s touch to them, although behind the scene at times,” Souder said. “Larry’s expertise extended well out into the community also. Many not-for-profit groups, too many to mention, have also had reason to ask for Larry’s assistance, whether for actual work or for advice. From food stands to floats to lighting, he could do it all and did not hesitate.”

In addition, Poulson has served as the Knight Bergman Center’s electrician for many years and now sits on its board of directors, as well as the board of directors of the Woodlawn Cemetery Association, involving volunteer hours to maintain roads, clear brush and clean the grounds of debris.

“Now retired and spending winters as a ‘snowbird’ in Florida, new hobbies are on the horizon, as golfing has now entered the picture,” Souder said. “No word yet on his handicap.”

The Town of Warren, represented by Town Councilwoman Julia Glessner, presented Poulson with a key to Warren, in addition to the Samuel Jones plaque he received from the Warren Area Chamber of Commerce.

Poulson was filled with emotion over receiving the accolades, but said he had a feeling about hearing his name called even before the breakfast started.

“I was afraid that when I was invited to come to this party that this might happen, but I had no idea,” he said. “I’m honored. I think what he (Souder) said about me was pretty much true.”

The town’s annual Community Service Award was awarded to the S.O.S. group, first formed in 1985 at Warren United Methodist Church.

Past Samuel Jones Pioneer Award winner David Daugherty made the announcement, explaining that “S.O.S.” stands for “Save Our Sanity,” “Sharing Our Selves” and “Serve Our Savior.” He said the group provides great service to the Warren community, providing funds and performing such volunteer tasks as the Scarecrow Festival, meals for summer children’s events, adopting a highway, serving in the town’s food pantry, driving for UNICEF and ringing bells for the Salvation Army.

“They’re there to support, and they always pray,” Daugherty added. “S.O.S. strives to take an active part in the community activities.”