Edwin Mabbette Snead

Edwin Mabbette Snead, 85, Balsam, N.C., died at home May 14, 2006, after a brief illness. Born in Daytona Beach, Mr. Snead practiced architecture for more than 40 years in Daytona Beach as a partner in the firm of McDonald, Craig and Snead, which designed and served as construction administrators for such landmark public projects as the Board Walk, Bandshell, and Peabody Auditorium. Though known for the quality of his work, his hallmark will be the diversity of his designs through a distinguished career in architecture. Mr. Snead often remarked he found the design of banks and jails as the most challenging, motels as the most prosperous, churches as the most inspiring and homes as the most friendly. He also served as Hotel and Restaurant Commissioner for three quarters of the state of Florida for six years during the 1960s. Born into a family which was among the early pioneers of Daytona and Seabreeze, Mr. Snead graduated in 1938 from Seabreeze High School (Peninsula Drive), where all of his family members also graduated, and where his grandmother, Carrie Mabbette, served as the school's first principal. Mr. Snead's family, the Walter Snead, Sr. family, was well-known in Daytona Beach during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s by their active involvement in the community through the Opera House and as proprietors of the Seabreeze Bath and Tennis Club, which featured such celebrities of the era as Bill Tilden, Ricky Ricardo and Spencer Tracey. Always an adventurer who aspired to become an archeologist, as a young man Mr. Snead dived for gold on the Suwannee River in Florida as well as near High Bridge in Daytona Beach. In the 1950s, he discovered a forgotten Mayan ruin in Uzmal, Yucatan Peninsula. A fateful diving accident convinced him to pursue a career in architecture. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in 1942. Yet, he never forgot his love of archeology and history, which led him to related hobbies of digging, collecting, and researching bottles as well as collecting antiques. His unique personal design achievement was the design and construction of his family's home of pecky cypress on a private island at Ormond Beach's High Bridge, where he lived with his family for more than 20 years. Since his retirement from architecture in 1982, he retired to Balsam where his family began a summer place in 1924, but he also maintained a beachside residence in Daytona Beach. He was a member of the Maggie Valley United Methodist Church and was predeceased by his mother and father, Walter Snead, Sr. and Lillie Greenleaf Mabbette Snead; sister, Lillie Jeanette; and brothers, Walter Snead, Jr. and Robert. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Gayleen Hutchinson Snead; daughters, Kim Toplitz, Maggie Valley, N.C., Sharlene Monahan and her husband, Pat, Savannah, Ga., and Kathi Henderson and Cynthia Briggs and her husband, Bob, both of Waynesville, N.C.; son, Jeffrey Young Snead, Grand Bahamas; six grandchildren, Matthew and Jeffrey Monahan, Laura Snead, Anna Toplitz and Brittni and Bradley Briggs; and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 17, in the Waynesville chapel of Wells Funeral Home, Waynesville, N.C., with the Rev. David Reeves officiating. A reception will follow at Grace Church in the Mountains. The family requests remembrances to Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospice, 560 Leroy George Drive, Clyde, NC 28721. For those who wish, an on-line memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.

Funeral Home

Wells Funeral Homes
296 West Main Street Waynesville, NC 28786
(828) 456-3535

Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on May 16, 2006