Family and friends describe Frank Poynor as larger-than-life: He was an outgoing person with an interest in the future of youngsters; had an affinity for cycling, ranching and fishing; and was blessed with integrity.
Poynor, a longtime Portales businessman, died Wednesday in an accident while riding his bicycle in Dallas. He was 72.
“I’m not sure what I say will do him justice, because he is truly one of the greatest men I’ve ever known,” nephew Mark Poynor said just hours after hearing the news.
Mark said he was unsure about specific details of the accident that took his uncle’s life.
Poynor, who three months ago moved from Portales to Granbury, Texas, owned Poynor Home and Auto located on South Ave. C from 1959-1992. He was a member of Southside Church of Christ, where family and friends said he preached on occasion. Friends also said he frequently gave eulogies at funerals for members of the Portales community.
Family and friends said Frank Poynor was a devout Christian, and experienced the full power of God’s mercy in the late 70s.
That’s when doctors told Poynor he had cancer, and shortly after the diagnosis Poynor was scheduled to meet with doctors in Houston who were to attempt to attack the disease, according to portions of Poynor’s diary published in the Nov. 23, 1997 issue of the Portales News-Tribune.
On the Sunday before Poynor went to Houston he received prayers for his cancer, the diary states. When Poynor arrived at the hospital, doctors could not believe what the tests proved: Poynor’s cancer was gone.
“Everything up to now had been ‘positive’ concerning all activity and all talk had been sad, but this time he (Poynor’s doctor) said ‘you are going to be happy with the report I give you today,’” the diary states.
Poynor and his family left the hospital “rejoicing and praising God,” his diary states.
A Lubbock native, Poynor moved to Portales in the late 50s to open the hardware store, and Sen. Stuart Ingle remembers the opening week.
Taking a walk near the new business, Ingle said he poked his head in the store and noticed what he described as an array of bicycles.
“I stuck my head in there and remember this guy asking ‘hey young man, can I help you?’” Ingle said. “And I said ‘you have really good bikes …’ and he said ‘we think so — you ought to be riding a bike instead of walking,’” Ingle recalled.
That moment sparked a friendship between the two, something Ingle described as an honor.
“He had a smile that just lit up the room, was a very outgoing man,” Ingle said. “He’ll certainly be missed. He had a lot of real good friends here in Portales.”
Poynor’s affinity for cycling was evident when the then 70-year-old cycled 75 miles in a little under six hours in a race in November of 2001. He was the oldest cyclist who entered the race, and finished 289 out of 401 contestants.
Besides cycling, Mark Poynor said his uncle was constantly laughing.
At a family meal about two months ago, Mark said his uncle Haney Poynor took a bite out of what he believed was a hamburger. Noticing a funny taste, Haney asked what was wrong with the food.
“Frank said ‘you don’t have any meat in it,’” and erupted in laughter, Mark said.
Earlier that day following church services Mark made it known that the family in Portales missed Frank deeply since the Texas move.
Frank Poynor’s response: “He looked me in the eye and said ‘Mark, I just want you to know how much I love you,’” Mark said.
Family and friends in Portales on Wednesday said the same about Frank Poynor.