Bernell Snider, 94, beloved husband, father and friend of so many, passed away peacefully at his home of 64 years in Turlock. Born in Denair to parents Earl and Mary Morrison Snider, he grew up there and attended local schools, until transferring to Turlock High School where he graduated in 1940. He attended Modesto Junior College until 1942, when he enlisted in U.S. Navy to serve his country. He was schooled and trained in San Luis Obispo, Colorado and Kansas. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, and was trained to fly and land on aircraft carriers in Pensacola, FL. There he received his commissions as a Navy officer. He served as a Navy pilot from 1943 to 1945. Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Naval Reserve, his rank was that of Lieutenant Junior Grade.
In 1946, Bernell returned to Turlock where he joined his brother, Thornton, to partner in Snider Lumber Products for 47 years. His Navy education proved beneficial as he drafted many mechanical details of the machinery associated with the lumber mills, and later to pilot his airplane to and from the lumber mills, saving countless hours of driving time. He also flew his family and friends to great destinations.
When Bernell retired from the lumber business, he transitioned into real estate.
On July 3, 1946, Bernell married his love, the former Flora Donaldson-Bennett, with whom he shared 59 years until her death in March of 2005. Together they had four children, Craig, Karen, Robin and Scott.
Bernell was a member of Rotary Club of Turlock, Turlock Shrine Club, Masonic Lodge, and a perpetual member of the Marines’ Memorial Association. He was honored as Business Leader of the Year by Turlock Chamber of Commerce in 1985, as well as with several Paul Harris Fellow awards.
He enjoyed hunting, aviation, working in his yard, and growing orchids. He loved traveling extensively with Flora and friends throughout their married life, as well as spending time on the coast and in the Sierras. Their love of travel throughout the world allowed them to experience a wide variety of beautiful countries, diverse cultures, people, art and music.
Bernell and Flora will be remembered for their kindness, compassion, modesty, and generosity by contributing to the arts, theater and music venues in the Turlock community, as well as many other worthy charities.
Bernell’s great passion during the past ten years has been his cats, Sweetie Girl, Cha Cha, Samba, Tango and Zenzi, who were his utmost joy always, whether they be by his side, on his lap, or following him around the yard.
Bernell’s caregivers were such an integral part of his last two years, providing wonderful care, lots of laughter, love, and moments of pure joy. He will leave an indelible mark on all of us who knew him for the great man he was always. As poet John Neihardt once said: “Death cannot rob me of life. I’ve already lived it.” And Bernell lived quite a life.
Mr. Snider was preceded in death by his son Craig, wife Flora, sister Eileen Montgomery, and brother Thornton Snider. He is survived by his daughters, Robin Snider of Turlock and Karen (Jim) Houghton of Encino, and his son Scott (Pam) Snider of Mariposa. He is also survived by his brother Paul Snider of Elk Grove, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and wonderful friends.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 1, at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 2, at the same location. Private interment will take place at Turlock Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice, Hospice of Emanuel, 1850 Colorado Ave., Turlock, CA 95382, or Bernell’s favorite—Best Friends, 5001 Angel Canyon Rd., Kanab, UT 84741 (Bestfriends.org).