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Philip H. Snoberger

1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Philip H. Snoberger Obituary
Philip H. Snoberger

Fort Pierce, FL

A great American was lost on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 with the passing of Philip H. Snoberger at his home in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was 92.

Phil was born to Elizabeth and Rantz Snoberger on October 1st, 1924, growing up in a rural farming community in Goshen, Indiana.

After graduating high school from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. in 1943, he was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army. Phil served in WWII during 1944 and 1945 in the 14th Armored Division ("The Liberators"). As a part of the Seventh Army he was stationed in France and Germany, participating in many horrific battles and the liberation of POW's and Nazi work camps.

He was awarded many medals, including The Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone. In 2012 he also received the Legion d'honneur, the highest French order of merit for military service.

He earned badges for Calvary Sharp Shooter, Rifle, Carbine and Machine Gun. Also ribbons for European Campaign, Army Occupation, American Campaign, World War II, Efficiency, Honor and Fidelity.

Phil was proud to be an American and of his service to our country, often wearing his Veteran's Cap from the 14th Armored Division, or wearing his uniform to attend veteran functions. He was very active in the American Legion, a tradition he adopted from his father.

After the military he finished his education at Purdue University graduating in the top 10% of his class with a degree in Engineering.

Phil always considered himself to be lucky he loved every day of his life. No endeavor was ever "work" and he thrived on every new challenge put before him. Just before he died, he was actively writing a detailed biography of his war experiences. Although he endured hardships and near-death experiences, his writing is filled with wit, keen observation and humor.

He was successful in business, receiving patents for electro-mechanical controls and quickly rising into corporate management. Going out on his own, he founded the Snowbird Automatic Ice Machine Company in Pompano Beach, Florida. Clients included the U.S. Navy.

Phil was preceded in death by the love of his life, Janet Gillis. They married in 2003. Moving to the Florida Keys in Marathon, Florida, the Snobergers sailed around the world in their sailboat "Snowbird". Crossing the Atlantic and back on a two year journey with landings in Bermuda, the Azores, the U.K., Ireland, Western Europe and the Northern Mediterranean.

He was co-founder and Commodore of the Hillsboro Inlet Yacht Club and member of the Marathon Yacht Club.

Phil is survived by three children from his first marriage to Joan R. Carpenter: Nancy, Stephen and Thomas Snoberger. Steve has two children: Sarah and Scott. Tom has two children: Valerie and Michelle. Valerie has his Great Grandson: Benjamin. Two stepsons survive from his Marriage to Janet Gillis. James Gillis has three children: Jackie, Jennifer and James, Jr.. Jennifer (Gillis) and Joel Dreiling have two of his Great Grandchildren: Joseph and Jamie.

Paul Gillis has three children: Katie, Alex and Andrei. They have four of his Great Grandchildren, Mary, Lula, Ryder and Fiona

Phil was a loving grandparent to all of his extended family. They sought his knowledge of all things, spent time with him in Florida and became better people by the guidance he gave them. They will miss him.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 20th at 1:00 P.M. at the Lake Forest Park Recreation Center in Fort Pierce.

Funeral is scheduled for some time in October where he will be buried at sea, joining his wife Janet in their beloved Atlantic Ocean.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to:

Martin Luther Chapel

325 122nd Street Gulf

Marathon, FL 33050

Published in the TC Palm on May 17, 2017
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