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Snell remembered as 'man of few words and high principles'

C. Earle Snell

C. Earle Snell

SNELLVILLE -- By living with an unwavering dedication to business and family, Clyde Earle Snell's son said he bestowed a wealth of life lessons.

"Dad was a man of few words and high principles," said David Snell. "He believed you should do things right, regardless of whether it was successful, and he did them in a principled way."

David and other family members are mourning the death of C. Earl Snell, who passed away Thursday at the age of 81. A celebration of life service was held on Sunday at the Snellville United Methodist Church.

As a direct descendant of Thomas Snell -- who came from England and founded the city of Snellville in 1882 -- C. Earle Snell retired from E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. in 1991 after 35 years of service. He served as the company's chief financial officer as well as a vice president and treasurer.

David, who currently serves as vice president of the family company, said his father "came to work and really worked. He was a family man, and he believed in the family business."

In addition, he said his father "was a numbers guy, all about facts and figures."

A 1948 graduate of the old Snellville High School, he attended North Georgia College and what was then the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia. Snell served as a member and chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Education from 1970-1973 and president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce in 1973.

He was also on the Snellville Planning and Zoning Board, was a director at First National Bank of Gwinnett County, and was a member of the Snellville United Methodist Church and Snellville Masonic Lodge No. 99 F&AM.

In addition, David said his father was "very youth oriented. He believed that if you put efforts into the youth of the community that they'd turn out right."

Snell loved genealogy too.

"He knew what was going on in the family. If you needed to know about the family history, you asked him," David said.

Snell was preceded in death by wife of 55 years, Jean Bigger Snell, who died in 2008.

Snell is survived by his sons, David and Robin; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister, Carol Snell Camp; and brothers Ferle G. Snell and Jack D. Snell Sr.