Times West Virginian
Edwin Brent Snodgrass, 85, passed away Tuesday (April 1, 2014) at his home in Tampa, Fla., surrounded by his family.
A native of West Virginia, Snodgrass graduated from Fairmont Senior High School and Fairmont State University, where he majored in journalism. He was the school’s first sport publicity director and a member of the Tau Beta Iota fraternity. While in college he worked as a reporter for the Times West Virginian. After college he was sports editor of The Parkersburg News, a wire service reporter for The Associated Press, a magazine editor and a television commentator.
Snodgrass first became active in the public relations profession in 1956 and served as president of the New Jersey Hospital Public Relations Association in the early stages of that organization’s development. At the time he was employed as a public relations professional for Orange Hospital in Orange, N.J. After that he spent 25 years as a public relations and public affairs executive with Bethlehem Steel Corp. in the firm’s Chicago and Baltimore districts.
While in Maryland, he served as president of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Baltimore Economic Development Commission and the Baltimore Private Industry Council. In addition, he was a trustee of the Council on Economic Education in Maryland, a director of the Baltimore County Police Foundation and a member of the Legislative Committee of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.
After retirement from Bethlehem Steel, he started his own public relations firm in Naples, Fla., and was president of Image Directions Inc. for six years. Professionally, Snodgrass was fully accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and was a member of PRSA’s College of Fellows. He also was a member of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA).
A devoted Christian, Snodgrass and his wife, the former Betty Jean Olson of Hayward, Wis., who survives, were married on Aug. 2, 1953, at First Methodist Church in Fairmont.
Their children are Mary Solheim (John) of Naples, the Rev. Jeffrey Snodgrass of Boca Raton, Fla., and Dana Chacon (Ralph) of Bishop, Ga. In addition, there are six grandchildren: Kelly Carlson (John) of Tampa, Fla., Kara Knight (Keith) of Lakeland, Fla., Molly Murrow of Tampa, Fla., and Cali, Kati and Micaiah Chacon, all of Bishop, Ga.. The great-grandchildren are David, Michael and Naiya Carlson of Tampa, Fla.
Snodgrass was a veteran and served 32 months as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 26, at First Baptist Church of Naples, Fla., with the Rev. Jeffrey Snodgrass officiating.