C. Earle Snell was an active member of the Snellville community.
By Michelle E. Shaw
With family roots that reach back to the founding of Snellville, C. Earle Snell took great pride in helping the southern Gwinnett town during its early years of growth.
He was active the civic, political and business communities, his sons said.
“He wanted to see Snellville be the best is could be, because he knew Robin and I were going to grow up here, and come back and live here after college,” said his son, David Snell.
C. Earle Snell, who was born Clyde Earle Snell, but preferred to use his first initial and middle name, died, from complications of congestive heart failure, Thursday at his home. He was 81.
A funeral was held Sunday at the Snellville United Methodist Church, followed by burial at the Snellville Historical Cemetery. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service was in charge of arrangements.
A 1948 graduate of the old Snellville High School, Snell attended North Georgia College and what was known as the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia – now Georgia State University – before going to work at General Motors. He stayed there five years and then left to join the family business, E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc., founded by his grandfather. Snell worked at the company for more than 35 years, retiring in 1991 as vice president and treasurer, his sons said.
Outside of the family company, Snell tried to promote smart growth of Snellville, said his son Robin Snell.
“While many were reluctant, he knew the growth was coming and he wanted to make sure it happened the right way,” said Snell, president of the family’s company. “That is why he got involved in things like the chamber, and the school board.”
C. Earle Snell was on the Gwinnett County Board of Education from 1970 until 1973, where he held the position of chairman for a period of time. He also served on the planning and zoning board of Snellville and as president of the Gwinnett Chamber, the first from the southern reaches of the county, said David Snell, a vice president of the family company. His civic and community involvement included donating land for the construction of the South Gwinnett Athletic Association sports park and complex, which is in part named for his father, E.R. Snell.
At home, C. Earle Snell was known as the family genealogist, David Snell said.
“If anybody wanted to know what was going on in the Snell family for any period of time, they knew to ask him,” his son said. “He had traced the family back nine generations.”
Family was fiercely important to C. Earle Snell, his sons said. His love for them was evident in the way he cared for his wife, Jean Biggers Snell, to whom he was married 55 years when she died in 2008, they said.
In addition to his sons, Snell is survived by his sister, Carol Snell Camp of Monroe; twin brother, Ferle G. Snell of Snellville, and brother, Jack D. Snell, Sr of Greensboro; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
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