David Pohl
1953 - 2004

Dave and I grew up together.  We were in every class together from kindergarten through sixth grade at Stokes Elementary.  I often spent time on his farm at the top of Stokes Hill.  Dave was smart, funny and down to earth.  He was true to his friends.  I think it was fifth grade when we started to play musical instruments.  He worked hard at practicing, but it also came very naturally for him.  He became very fond of music and enjoyed his time playing in band.  After I left Rome in “69 I often thought about what might have become of him.  Recently I came across this website and there I found news about many of my old friends.  It was there that I learned of David's passing.  My heart was heavy.  I was distressed not to know what had happened to him, how he lived his life.  The other day found his obit on the Arlington National Cemetery website.  I was filled with pride and joy that my dear friend had accomplished so much.

David Lawrence Pohl

Master Sergeant, United States Army 

From a contemporary press report: 11 May 2004


David Lawrence Pohl, 51, retired Master Sergeant, clarinet section leader and assistant concertmaster of the U.S. Army Band, died of heart disease April 17, 2004, at his home in Arlington County.


Sergeant Pohl was born in Lee Center, New York, and was raised on a dairy farm in Upstate New York. He attended Ithaca College and studied in Europe under the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Karl Leister. He then moved to the Washington area to join the Army Band, also known as "Pershing's Own," in 1973.


During his career, he served as one of the principal organizers of the 1992 Inaugural Parade, representing the armed forces, and received the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his efforts. He performed for five U.S. presidents, the Queen of England and Pope Paul VI, among dozens of other world leaders. He performed in Japan, the Netherlands and Australia and played a solo with the British Coldstream Guards Band in 1990.


He also played with the band at the national Bicentennial Celebration, for the return of the U.S. hostages from Iran and at the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. He received numerous awards and medals during his 21-year Army career and traveled throughout the world playing in concerts and military tattoos.


After retiring from the military in 1994, Sergeant Pohl served as a clarinetist and administrator for a number of local organizations. He was personnel manager for the Arlington Symphony and the Washington Symphony and was a contractor for the Vienna Choral Society.


For the last several years, Sergeant Pohl was a mortgage loan officer for USA Financial in Fairfax County.


A member of the Professional Bowlers Association and numerous Virginia leagues, Sgt. Pohl once bowled 299 in official league play.


He was a fan of the New York Yankees and the Washington Redskins. He also served as captain of the Army Band bowling and softball teams. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in an area reserved for career members of the Army Band. A clarinet choir and full military band played at his funeral, and he was given a 21-volley salute.


Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Gene Semiatin Pohl, and his daughter, Sarah Pohl, both of Arlington; his son, Adam Pohl of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; his mother, Berneice Pohl of Lee Center; four sisters; and one brother.


I’m very glad to have known Dave.  I contacted his wife Gene and she sent the following email, and gave me permission to share with you all.





From: Gene Pohl

Sent: 04/08/12 03:32 PM

To: drw52@bikerider.com

Subject: Re: Message from Duncan R. Wright on wphs69-70.com!


Hi Duncan.


Thank you so much for your kind note, which I greatly appreciated.

Dave was a great person, and touched many.

Dave and I were married for almost 28 years.  We met at Ithaca College, got married in 1976, and had 2 children.  Adam is a baseball broadcaster and asst. general manager for the Frederick Keys Baseball Club in Frederick, Md.  Sarah is an orchestra teacher in Howard County in Maryland.  Both of our children were married recently, one in 2009 and the other in 2011.

Dave was proud of his army career, and worked as a freelance musician and teacher after he retired.  He was most proud of his children, though, and would be so happy to see how they are doing.  His passing was sudden, and was difficult for all of us.

Dave's Mom still lives in Lee Center.  Several of his siblings also live there, and we visit them every summer.

I believe I remember him perhaps mentioning your name as one of his friends growing up.

I will try to scan some pictures for you, and send them.


Best wishes, and thanks so much for writing!

Genie Pohl




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