ROY ALLAN SNODGRASS / FEB. 20, 1937 - AUG. 25, 2012

Valparaiso man was multi-talented

2012-10-29T00:00:00Z Valparaiso man was multi-talentedCharles F. Haber Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 29, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Starting early in life, Roy Snodgrass filled his life to the brim with many accomplishments.

"He was a multi-talented guy," said his wife of 54 years, Gerry Snodgrass.

He began working for the Orbesen Construction Co. in Gary at the age of 8 — and became its president and owner as an adult.

Roy Allan Snodgrass, 75, of Valparaiso, died Aug. 25.

Gerry Snodgrass said the construction company was across the alley from where her parents lived and operated a grocery-deli business.

"He would come in for sandwiches," she said.

They eventually formed a marriage that would have reached 55 years on Nov. 16.

"He followed his dreams," she said. "He came from a very humble family."

His brother Dale (deceased) later bought Orbesen, and Roy eventually bought it from his brother.

At age 40, Snodgrass earned a pilot's license and owned two planes, a Cessna and later a larger one.

With a chuckle, Gerry Snodgrass recalled how he would drive them to the airport in Hobart, jump in the plane and fly to Michigan City — or elsewhere — for lunch.

At age 62, Snodgrass attended Indiana University Northwest and earned a bachelor of arts in fine arts and later an associate's degree in general studies, his wife proudly noted.

"He was so proud."

A loving family man, Snodgrass taught their boys how to fish and took the family to the Arctic Circle for vacations.

"He always took them to Canada to go fishing," Gerry Snodgrass added.

At Christmas, he would buy loads of electronic gifts for them.

For Mothers' Day, he included their daughters-in-law and granddaughters in his gift giving.

"Holidays and birthdays were very special" to him, she said.

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