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Martha Keith Snavely, age 96, passed away on June 8, surrounded by family and friends. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Gordon Keith and Edgar Keith, of Birmingham, Alabama. Martha graduated with a B. S. from Auburn University and completed a dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University. She served her country in WWll as a dietician for the troops in the European Theater. She returned home in 1945 to marry her beloved husband, Dr. John Robert Snavely, whom she'd met overseas. They lived in New Orleans while Bob taught at Tulane University. Bob and Martha relocated to Jackson when he was asked to participate in establishing a medical school at the University of Mississippi.
Martha was a proud, energetic woman, always ready to take on a challenge, tell a story or offer a smile. Bob passed away too young, in 1964. Martha returned to her roots as a dietitian for the American Heart Association, for whom she had been an active volunteer since 1955. She served on their Board of Directors beginning in 1965. Martha was given an American Heart Association award for distinguished service in advancing their heart program. She was also active with the American Dietetic Association, the American Cancer Society, the Kidney Foundation and other health related groups.
Martha enjoyed many leisure activities, especially golf. She was a member of the Colonial Ladies' Golf Association, the Jackson Ladies' Golf Association, the Senior Women's Golf Association and the Mississippi Women's Golf Association. She held offices, ran tournaments and enthusiastically competed in all. Her interest in music and the arts, including fabric design, brought her joy.
She was dearly loved by her family and spent annual vacations with her brother and his family until she was no longer able to travel.
Martha was predeceased by her parents, her husband and a niece, Mary Keith Schwartz. She is survived by her brother, Edward Gordon Keith, niece Joann Keith Jaffey, nephew, Edward Gordon Keith, jr. (Joan), great niece, Cindy Van Geer,(Erik), and three great nephews, David Schwartz, (Alison), Michael Schwartz and Craig Jaffey. She is also survived by many treasured good friends, especially Iola Thomas, Eddie Mural Clerk, A. B. Stewart and John Gibson, whose kindness and support allowed her to live in her own home until her death.
Donations in Martha's memory may be made to the Office of Development, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39216. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published in Clarion Ledger on July 21, 2013