Edwin Snelgrove, age 93, passed away May 28, 2019, with his daughter and son-in-law by his side. He slipped away quietly and peacefully in the early morning to join his wife, parents, sister, cousins, and many friends in the everlasting life promised by God. Ed was born in Hartford, the oldest child of Dorothy (Fales) Snelgrove and Percy J. Snelgrove. Ed grew up in Windsor. He recalled a happy childhood in spite of the Great Depression, which made life difficult for his family and almost everyone they knew. He attended The Loomis School, and then at the age of 16 he was granted a scholarship to attend Yale University. He was at Yale for two years before joining the Navy to serve his country in the South Pacific on the U.S.S. Wedderburn (DD 684) during WWII. After the war, he finished well at Yale, but years later occasionally lamented the disadvantages of being a “shy small-town kid two years younger than everyone else” during his first two years of college at such a large, prestigious school.
Ed’s entire career was in advertising. After a brief time in New York City, he returned to Connecticut where he worked as the production manager for several advertising agencies: H.H. Graham and Associates, (where he met his wife, Norma), Wilson Haight and Welch, and finally retiring from Mintz and Hoke. On several occasions, over the course of his career, he was recruited at the last minute as a model and appeared in a few print advertisements in national magazines.
Ed was a quiet man who loved to read, especially books on historical subjects. He had a good singing voice; he took part in the glee club at Yale, sang in the Hartford Chorale Club as a young adult, was a member of his church choir for many years, and later in life sang with a large barbershop chorus for a few years. As a student and young adult, he enjoyed amateur theater, and took part in several productions at Loomis and Yale, and later joined the Windsor Jesters, appearing in their production of “Rebecca”. Ed was an active member of Berlin Congregational Church, where he volunteered in many different capacities over the years. He also enjoyed golfing and bowling. He looked forward to attending the Greater Hartford Open golf tournament most years. He also enjoyed occasional hikes with his son, Andy. On one such hike, while he was in his 70’s, he fell down a very steep rocky slope, breaking all his ribs on one side and puncturing one of his lungs. He recovered well and joked that the scariest part of the whole thing was being “tied up like a mummy” on the LifeStar helicopter as he was being transported between hospitals. In retirement, Ed was a literacy volunteer for several years. He also enjoyed traveling with his son-in-law, Tom, to visit historical sites such as Gettysburg, Antietam, and Yorktown. Ed was a wonderful, unselfish father, supportive of his children’s interests and patiently chauffeuring them to their activities. In the early years of his marriage he helped his stepson Mike with his paper route. Most important, he was a devoted husband to his wife, Norma, and faithfully continued to care for her in the last few years of her life as her physical and mental health declined, even after he was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually brought about his own death.
Ed lived in Berlin for 52 years before he and Norma moved to Manchester to live near their daughter. He is survived by two sons; Edwin Snelgrove Jr., and Andrew Snelgrove, a daughter Elizabeth Zownir and her husband Thomas, and grandchildren Stephanie Zownir and Andrew Zownir, and Thomas’ daughter Valerie Verrett, her husband Ryan and their son Kellan. He also leaves a stepson, Michael Casey, and his children Colleen Casey, Shannon Watson and her husband Colby, and their children Casey Watson, Noah Watson and Shiloh Watson. He also leaves a brother Alan Snelgrove and his wife Lois, and many nieces and nephews. Ed was predeceased by his sister, Virginia Maher. Ed was recently predeceased by his wife of over 60 years, Norma.
A joint memorial service will be held for Ed and Norma on Saturday, June 15th, at 11:00 a.m., at Center Congregational Church, 11 Center St., Manchester. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Creative Living Community of CT, 60 Church Street, Manchester, CT, 06040, an organization whose mission is to establish supportive housing for adults with Autism. Inurnment of Ed and Norma will take place in Wilcox Cemetery, East Berlin, privately. Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, Manchester, is in care of his arrangements. To leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.holmeswatkins.com.
Creative Living Community of Connecticut
60 Church Street, Manchester CT 06040