Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Haven Poe dies at 82

Haven Poe was described as an authentic person and a dedicated public servant.

Haven Poe was described as an authentic person and a dedicated public servant.

TAMPA — Haven Poe, known as an advocate for children, neighborhoods and growth management as a Hillsborough County commissioner in the 1980s, died Sunday of Alzheimer's disease. She was 82.

Mrs. Poe, born in Haines City, moved to Tampa as a teenager. Married for 57 years to Charles Poe, who survives her, she became known for her volunteer work for the Hillsborough County Juvenile Detention Center, Children's Services of Hillsborough County, Travelers Aid Society and her service on the University of Tampa board of trustees.

She was elected to the Tampa City Council in 1979 for two terms, then served on the County Commission from 1986 to 1990.

"She was as authentic a person as you would ever want to meet,'' said Barbara Stefany, longtime friend and campaign manager during Mrs. Poe's first run for City Council. "She was very smart and thought things through, and always seemed to be able to put her finger on the one thing you had missed. She was so thorough in her ability to apprise any situation.''

She had high expectations, said Richard Tribunella, who as former director of Children's Services worked closely with Mrs. Poe when she was a commissioner. "When you laid out a plan of action, she expected you to follow through on it.''

She also was creative, he added, noting that Mrs. Poe started the county's "Safe Place'' program, where food establishments and other venues post signs letting runaways know that from those locations they could get in contact with agencies that would help them.

Jan Platt, who served on the County Commission with Poe, described her a serious-minded public servant who was "very dedicated to the issues that she felt were important.''

Still, she was "the life of the party'' in her private life, said Jennifer Poe Wolf, one of her two daughters. She remembers her mom as someone "who loved life and loved people and loved her family more than anything.''

Wolf recalled family trips to the beach each summer where, during one of the nights, her mother would grab the kids and toss them fully clothed into the water. "Every year, we would look forward to what night is mom going to do that,'' she said.

Wolf said many of her friends from the Academy of Holy Names remember when Mrs. Poe let all 71 girls in Wolf's senior class come over for a slumber party just before graduation, as she had done for Wolf's sister, Lynn Reynolds.

"We were all over the floor, and it was a school night,'' Wolf recalled. In the morning, "we had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and went off to school.''

In addition to her husband and daughters, Mrs. Poe is survived by five grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. today at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church, 1309 W Swann Ave.

Philip Morgan can be reached at or (813) 226-3435.

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Haven Poe dies at 82 02/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater man hospitalized after diving from boat into shallow waters

    Public Safety

    A 49-year-old man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Sunday after he jumped off a pontoon boat into shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

  3. JFK's last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht


    It has been 100 years since John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 1917, at his parents' home in Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston. Over the course of his life, Kennedy enjoyed lavish birthday celebrations, the most famous being a Democratic fundraising bash at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, when a sequined …

    President John F. Kennedy aboard the Sequoia in 1963 opening birthday presents. [Robert Knudsen | John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum]
  4. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group


    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.