SNITZER, III, Dr. Joseph Albert "Joe"
Dr. Joseph "Joe" Albert Snitzer III, age 89, joined his Lord, peacefully and with dignity, from his home on the morning of January 18, 2021.
Joe, who was known by all who loved him as "Papa Joe", "Daddy", "Dr. Joe", or just "Joe", was born in Baltimore on September 6, 1931 and moved to Atlanta at the age of eleven. Joe graduated from Marist School in 1949 and then attended undergraduate at Emory University where he was a member of the Emory wrestling team and SAE fraternity. Joe graduated in 1953 with a degree in English and then served as a First Lieutenant, Transoceanic Navigator, in the United States Air Force until 1957 during the Korean War.
Upon discharge from the Air Force, Joe attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta from 1959-1964, completing medical school and an internship in pediatrics. He returned to Atlanta for his residency in pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine from 1964-1966.
In 1966, Joe entered private practice with Dr. Judd Hawk, forming The Children's Clinical Center. In addition to his private practice, Joe volunteered with the Atlanta Adoption Agency, the Gwinnett Community Health Clinic, Emory Pediatric residency program and started a one-man, free clinic in Lynwood Park, an underserved community in the Brookhaven area. Joe also worked closely with the Georgia state legislature to effect policy changes that benefited pediatric patients, particularly the treatment of hemophilia patients and the distribution of the German measles vaccine.
In 1983, Joe began a 28-year career on staff with Egleston Children's Hospital. His initial task was to develop a Hospitalist Service at Egleston, coordinating the patient care with an in-house staff of pediatric attending physicians and Emory's pediatric residents. He went on to hold numerous positions during his tenure at Emory: Associate Medical Director, Egleston; Chief of Medicine Service, Egleston; Chief of General Pediatrics, Egleston and President of the Medical Staff at Egleston. After his retirement in 2018, at the age of 87, Joe was awarded the position of Professor Emeritus. He continued to attend Grand Rounds and consult on patient care until his passing on January 18, 2021.
Joe was a humble and kind man. Joe's Catholic beliefs were deeply held and integral to who he was as a person. Most importantly, Joe lived his spirituality daily through his uncommon
acts of kindness and his universal respect for the people he encountered, regardless of their position in life. Joe didn't seek attention; but, when he spoke, he was quietly profound. Always intellectually curious, Joe constantly sought to gain knowledge. In addition to his family and friends, Joe's kindness, humility and intellect formed unique legacy in the hearts of former colleagues, students and patients.
Anyone who knew Joe Snitzer understood he sought to avoid the spotlight. With that said, Joe's awards & recognitions are almost too numerous to recite but included: The 1998 Society of Children's Hospital of Atlanta – The Pediatric Pioneer Award, as well as The Lifetime Achievement Award 2017; Emory University School of Medicine - Career Teaching Award 2016; Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics – The Leila D. Denmark Lifetime Achievement Award 2016; Children's Hospital of Atlanta Recognition – 50 Years of Service to Pediatrics; Residents' Teacher of the Year (1988, 1998-2001, 2007-2010); Emory University School of Medicine Alumnus of the Year (2010); America's Best Physicians (2002-2006); Children's Hospital of Atlanta – Hope and Will Award (2004); GAAAP Outstanding Achievement Award (2003); Marist School's Outstanding Alumnus (2002), Atlanta Magazine's Best Doctor List (1996-2002), and induction into Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the national medical honor society.
None of Joe's success would have been possible had he not married Elizabeth "Liz" Hallman in 1954. Joe believed his greatest accomplishment was his 66 years of loving marriage to Liz; together raising, with love and dedication, their 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 5.5 great grandchildren.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, J. Albert Snitzer II and Isabel Baker Snitzer; his brother, Charles D. Snitzer; his daughter, Laura Snitzer Boozer, and his grandson, Joshua W. Lemon.
Joe is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Hallman Snitzer; 3 children: Lynn Snitzer Lemon, Karen Snitzer Zucca (Scott), Joseph Lee Hallman Snitzer; son-in-law Russell W. Boozer (Cheryl); 9 grandchildren and 5.5 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law: F. Edwin Hallman (Peggy); sister-in-law: Mary Hallman Murdaugh (Harry); and many nieces and nephews.
Joe was dedicated to providing the best healthcare available to children and felt he could make the most impact through education and training of the men and woman who would go forth to provide that care. So in keeping with his life's mission, we ask that donations be given in Dr. Snitzer's memory to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. For those wishing to make a donation, please visit give.choa.org/josephsnitzer
to make a donation.
Due to COVID-19, a Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date when those he touched can gather together in remembrance of a life well lived.