Philip Christy “Chris” Snodgras unexpectedly took his last flight on October 1st, 2013. Chris was born in Coffeyville, Kansas on February 22nd, 1948 and grew up in numerous states and foreign countries, settling in LaPlace, LA at 14 years old. He graduated from Leon Godchaux High School in LaPlace in 1966 then attended Southeastern LA University and Nichols State. Chris worked as a paramedic in New Orleans before joining the Army in 1968 serving in Vietnam as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot. After completing his time in the service he accepted a job in Jakarta, Indonesia flying helicopters. Upon returning to Louisiana, Chris became a pilot for PHI and then joined Air Logistics Helicopters where he flew to the offshore oil platforms. In 1974 Chris started a partnership in Faust Helicopters and retired from Air Logistics in 2002. Chris moved to Memphis in 2002 to spend time with his daughters. He lived with his ex-wife so they could keep an eye on each other and he could help care for her foster dogs while she worked out of the country as a flight attendant Not only being brilliant with a photographic memory Chris had a heart of gold; he loved animals and children and would do what ever he could for them including helping people who were having difficult times in their lives. Chris helped with the animal rescue his family started and babysat his daughters’ pets. He had squirrels and hummingbirds who came to him for food and water. Chris received many honors while in the Army for the lives he saved; one blessed day he was shot down 3 times and continued to keep on fighting and saving lives! His favorite quote when he was trying to inspire his 3 girls was “If you were in a war you have to keep on fighting”. During hurricanes in the Gulf he could not be home with his family as the pilots had to evacuate the platforms to keep the workers safe. This was done in high winds with dangerous conditions to the pilots. Chris flew large helicopters which required a pilot and co-pilot. Chris and Tom, flew their helicopter in high winds and seas rescuing 60 people off a stationary oil platform and a mobile drilling platform which had broken loose and was headed toward the stationary platform possibly causing an explosion and fire. He never talked about awards he received, but one in particular for the above mentioned rescue required Chris to attend a banquet in Anaheim for an award given by the Helicopter Association International. He also received an award by the U.S. Coast Guard for this same mission. Chris being a humble man never wanted to realize the true importance of his job and the legacy it would leave behind. Chris will join his parents J.F. Snodgras and Lucille Fowler Snodgras, sister Sarah Jane Snodgras, grandmother Elsie Kincade, sister in law Brenda Pilcher Snodgras and father-in- law, Gene Gilchrist. Chris leaves behind his daughters, Kelly, Katy and Kamy Snodgras and granddaughter, Kira, ex wife Barbara G. Snodgras all of Memphis and his brother Jeff (Pam) Snodgras of St. Amant, LA. Even though he was divorced he remained close to his in laws, mother-in-law Edna Gilchrist, sister and brother in law Bettye and Don Rodgers of Memphis and nephews Greg and Kevin Rodgers of Chicago. He also leaves his "adopted" sisters, Toni Meyers and Lisa Lemoine of Louisiana. Typically giving as Chris was, he has donated his body to The Genesis Program. A Celebration of Life will be held on October 27, 2013 from noon until 2:30 at Rooftop Terrace- River Inn of Harbor Town. Donations may be made to Guardian Angel Pet Rescue, PO Box 1751, Collierville TN 38027 or a
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Published in The Commercial Appeal on Oct. 25, 2013