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Great Falls —Harold Jennings Snippen Jr. "Snip", 81, was born to Harold Sr. and Stella Snippen on April 19, 1933 in Great Falls, MT. Snip was a man of few words. He excelled in athletics at Great Falls High School playing football, baseball and was named All State and Great Falls High's Most Valuable Basketball player in 1951. He met his wife Deloris (Delly) at Great Falls High, where they were both graduates. After graduation, he attended the University of Montana to major in Physical Education to teach and coach in Great Falls. In his sophomore year, when he and his wife Deloris were married, his college studies were ended by the draft. After serving two years in Korea and Japan, he returned home to Great Falls to meet his only daughter, Laurie Ekert, for the first time, who was the love of their life. She and her husband Don (Ekert) gave Snip and Delly two beautiful granddaughters, Dusti (Ryan Zimmer) and Lacy Ekert, whom he loved very much. He kept very busy following his granddaughters through all their athletics and traveling events at his alma mater, Great Falls High School. He was blessed with two great grandchildren, Parker and Peyton who he called his "Little Men." He was the middle child between his two sisters, Connie Laabs and Beverly Dailey. Through the years, he had one constant and that was his lifelong friends and the Watson Family at the City Bar where he met his "coffee crew" every morning. If it was 9 AM, Snip was at the City meeting with friends over coffee and reminiscing about the biggest catch, best handicap in golf or the fastest horse on the track.
During his working years, he was known as a "quiet" and "congenial" man who did his "utmost to help out." He was very well respected in his profession and was described as "one of the best." He began his career working for Manchester Biscuit Company, which is now a division of Keebler, for 5 years. In 1964, he switched from biscuits to coffee, hiring on with MJB, which then became Nestle Beverage Company covering Central Montana. He was a hard and reliable worker and provided well for his family. He retired in 1993 to spend time with his family and pursue his road travels with his wife Delly. They were known to take off in the car without a particular destination in place and ended where they may; seeing different places over the region, which many times centered around thoroughbred horse races.
His hobbies included fishing and golfing but to him they were extreme sports that he respected with passion, intensity and competitiveness. As a true sports enthusiast, he also enjoyed horse racing, football, basketball and refereeing. He kept a spotless car and manicured yard, which he was known for with his remarkable green thumb.
His wife and parents preceded him in death. Snip passed away on June 21, 2014 at his home. We will remember Snip with a Celebration of Life at The City Bar located at 709 Central Avenue on Saturday July 12, 2014 from 3:00-5:00 PM. Please join his family and friends in remembering him with stories and drinks. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.
Condolences may be left online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 24, 2014