Stan Snell: 1921 – 2010

The first email I opened this morning was from classmate Joe Snell with bad news: his dad, Stan Snell, had died last night.

I immediately thought of the gentle, genial man that my buddies and I thought looked like Popeye the Sailor Man. He almost always had a pipe clinched between his teeth, a crinkly little grin and perpetually squinted eyes with laugh lines around them.

Active in Boy Scouts

I didn’t know Stan as well as my brothers, who were younger. By the time they got into Trinity Lutheran School’s Troop 8, my Dad was winding down his business and had more time to spend with them. Dad and Stan got to be good friends planning Scout activities and going on camping and hiking trips.

I didn’t know until I did some research that Stan had been Scoutmaster of Washington School’s Troop 15 in the late 50s. There was a story in The Missourian on Nov. 13, 1959, about him leading the troop on a foxhunt. (Animal lovers, don’t get upset. We’re not talking about REAL foxes.)

Served in World War II

There was a long piece in The Missourian Oct. 31, 1945, listing all the men being discharged from the military. I recognized a lot of the names as men I knew who never mentioned their service in the war.

Down toward the middle of the story was a single paragraph: Stanley Lee Snell, motor machinist’s mate, 519 North Main St., Cape Girardeau – Entered service, July 1, 1942; discharged Oct. 3, 1945, at Coast Guard Center at San Francisco, CA, served aboard The Sequoia.

Married Miss Norma Mueller in 1946

The Missourian had a story about his wedding in the paper May 27, 1946. (The bride wore a brown, street-length dress with blue trimmings; she also wore a string of pearls given to her by the bridegroom.)

I’ll never forget his pipe and his grin

Most adults are sort of a blur to kids, but Stan Snell is a man I’ll never forget. He was a genuinely nice guy. There’s not enough of those around these days.

Here’s his official obituary

From the funeral home web site:

Stanley Lee Snell, 88, of Cape Girardeau passed away Thursday, April 15, 2010 at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

He was born December 19, 1921, in McClure, Illinois, son of Lee J. and Dora Moore Snell. He and Norma Ruth Mueller were married May 18, 1946 in Cape Girardeau. Snell was a veteran of WWII, serving in the United States Coast Guard from May 3, 1943 to October 3, 1945.

He worked 30 years as office manager for Wiethop Truck Sales, retiring in 1987. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau since 1946, and was a former treasurer of the Men’s Club. His civic affiliations included membership in American Legion Post 63 and the Disabled American Veterans, both in Cape Girardeau. He volunteered many years with the Boy Scouts, serving as Scout Master for Troops 8 and 15 in Cape Girardeau, and in 1962 he became a Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow.

Loving survivors include his wife of 63 years, Norma of Cape Girardeau; a son, Joseph L. (Marguerite) of Lake St. Louis , Mo. ; a daughter-in-law, Sharon Snell of Cape Girardeau ; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, the Rev. Jerry L. Snell (5-16-1996); two brothers; and one sister.

Friends may call Sat., Apr. 17, from 10AM until time of service, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

Funeral service will be Saturday, at 11:00 AM with the Rev. Douglas Breite officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau. Memorials may take the form of contributions to Living Hope, c/o Trinity Lutheran Church.

McCombs Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau is in charge of arrangements.

14 Replies to “Stan Snell: 1921 – 2010”

  1. Ken,
    I was a very close friend of Jerry who got me into photography at CHS, and also was a big part of my becoming a Lutheran pastor. I was at a conference in Chicago when Jerry died, and managed to make it back to his funeral in New Melle. I’ll miss Mr. Snell’s funeral tomorrow, sad to say. But I’ll be in Cape Monday and will stop by and see Mrs. Snell. Thanks for the great article; your photo of Mr. Snell (at the top) is a real keeper!

  2. I was going to a scouting event at Camp Lewallen one year but couldn’t catch a ride with all the rest of my Troop 8 friends at the regular time of departure. Camp Lewallen is located in Silva, Mo which is one hour and 50 minutes from Cape. Stan Snell was going to the same event at camp and offered to drive me out when he went. Trouble was, he couldn’t get away himself to much later. When the time came he picked me up at my house and away we went. The ride was one of the best I had ever had because he had funny stories about camping, my family and interesting notes about the trip since he had made it so many times before. I had known Stan for several years and knew that he liked to tell stories and kid around so even though I was going to be late I knew it would be fun nonetheless. I talked about getting there later than I wanted to and he just kept on telling me stories the entire time while driving. When we pulled into the parking lot where the rest of the cars were, a few others were still getting out of their cars. I said to Stan, “Well at least we aren’t the only stragglers getting here late tonight.” Stan smiled from ear to ear as only he could, and said, “I picked it up a bit once we got past Jackson, so we made up some time.” He had made the one and half hour ride to Camp Lewallen in ONE HOUR. Even my friends who could drive fast had never made it Camp in that amount time. From then on Stan Snell would always ask me if I wanted to catch a ride with him to Camp and just smile, from ear to ear. Years later when I would see him back in Cape he’d always crack that smile of his and ask me I needed a ride to Camp Lewallen that day. I’ll miss Stan.

  3. Joe, my sympathy on the death of your dad. Our little neighborhood enjoyed lots of good times and spent hours at Washington School’s playground. Give our best to your mother. The Snells were a wonderful example of the perfect family.

    Susan Campbell Creech

  4. I just informed My Dad, Wilbert of the news because he no longer has internet. We are both saddened by the news. I {Vi} didn’t know Stan and Norma very long. I met them both at Saxony Village when my Dad and Charlotte moved in, I fell in Love with both the instant we met. Beautiful people I will miss knowing they are there. My very sincere condolences. Tell Norma we are praying for her and all who love them.

    Vi Eichenberger, Wilbert Tiedt

  5. Joe, my sympathy on the passing of your father. I’ll always remember what a good neighbor he was to my parents. He was a good man and will be remembered fondly. My best to your lovely mother.

    Nancy Wadlington Green

  6. I truly loved reading of Mr Stan’s exploits before moving to Saxony. It was a joy to have him in some of my fitness classes and to have him as a friend. He will be missed not just by me but also my daughter who took to Mr Stan the first time she met him. Please accept our sympathy.

    Gail and Isabel

  7. I, too, read this piece with intense interest because of having grown up at Trinity and in Troop 8. My memories echo those of everyone else here and add that Stan was a true Christian in every form; a self-effacing life-long servant to everyone around him. He readily befriended everyone he met and his smile lit up many, many faces. Soli Deo Gloria!

  8. Joe,letters from your dad have brightened the last 6years of my mom’s (Linda Lewis)long days. Stan would type the letters and sometimes Norma would dictate – when the letters stopped coming mom knew that their medical issues had taken over because his last letter indicated that they were becoming more serious. Gentle people who lived such loving lives.
    Mom sent Norma a card letting her know that you are all in our prayers.

  9. Stan was always a smiling, gentle, friendly man from the first time that I met him-when he was courting my cousin, Norma Mueller, who lived at my parent’s home. He loved his wife and sons. He continually did his very best for them. He was an honest, ethical, industrious worker, he served his country, community and church. He took joy from his grandchildren and great-grand children. He has left a wonderful legacy for family and friends.

  10. Joe,
    Just learned of your dad’s death. He was indeed a kind guy who supported many of us during our Cape days. I still recall rides to school many times, and his continual smile.

  11. I would like to know if anyone remembers Stanley Snell’s first wife Alice. Alice was my grandmother and I have many photos of the Snell family. All the photos with her and Stanley look like she and he were very happy. Thank You for any information

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