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Joseph Snethen

Joseph "Joe" Willard Snethen, son of Albert Hosea and Grace Eugene (Dant) Snethen, was born July 13, 1922 in Ringgold County, Iowa and departed this life on March 27, 2016.

Joe will be remembered for his contagious grin, straight-talking demeanor, walking all over town well into his final years, and having the ability to connect and earn trust from all those he encountered.

Upon graduating from the eighth grade, Joe set off to assist his family through farm work before enlisting in the United States Army on March 4, 1943. He took to automotive mechanics while stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia. He served with the Regimental Headquarters Co., 533rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. He was stationed in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan. Always proud of serving in WWII, Joe joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Mount Ayr where he served as Commander when the VFW building was erected in the 1950's. His family spent many evenings overlooking the construction of the building while Joe and others worked.

After discharge on January 9, 1946 Joe returned to Mount Ayr and on November 11, 1946 married Betty Bonnelle Hammond. Betty and Joe had three children: Janet Lynn, Cynthia Rae, and Jeffrey Joseph. Joe worked a number of years for the Iowa State Highway Commission and as a mechanic for Andy Johnson Chevrolet, while also serving as a volunteer of the Mount Ayr Fire Department. In 1965, the family moved to Indianola where Joe worked for McCoy Manufacturing for five years before taking a job with Georgia Pacific in Des Moines, where he would also obtain his GED. Transferring to the Madison, Wisconsin office in 1973, Joe became their warehouse supervisor, and in 1984 Joe retired and returned to Mount Ayr with Betty. Determined to keep busy, Joe mowed and maintained yards throughout the community, worked at Heritage Park, and drove for the Southern Iowa Trolley. Joe was also member of the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church and the American Legion.

Joe was a determined man who liked to stay busy. He walked five miles a day for a number of years and was still trying to walk at least a mile a day when he was 93 years of age, stopping and visiting with others along the way. He was an avid reader and even though macular degeneration robbed him of much of his sight, he was still able to read books with the help of a Magna-Site machine. He loved Westerns and mysteries.

Joe is survived by his wife of 69 years, Betty; daughters Janet (Lyle) Hogue and Cyndi (Gail) Mapes; son Jeff Snethen; sister Roena (Calvin) Adams, sister-in-law Sue Snethen and brother-in-law Allen Coffman; six grandchildren - Kevin Hogue and Tyanne Carey, Shonn and Chadd Mapes, and Justin and Bobbi Jo Snethen; and great grandchildren - Brady and Jacey Carey, Jude Hogue, Andrew Snethen and Grayson Mapes. In addition he is survived by many nieces and nephews along with a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Mildred Vosler, Mary Gunter, Kathleen Pollock, Vera Liermann, Vesta Gibson, Ona Snethen; brother Rex Snethen; father-in-law Roy Hammond and mother-in-law Lois Hammond Creveling.

Memorials established in his name to the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church, American Legion Post #172 or HCI Care Services in Mount Ayr.

  • Open Viewing

    March 31, 2016
    12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Family Will Be Present

    April 01, 2016
    10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Funeral Service

    April 01, 2016
    11:00 AM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Burial With Military Rites

    Friday April 01 2016

    Rose Hill Cemetery

    Hwy 2 & 169
    Mount Ayr, IA


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Snethen, please visit our flower store.



Guestbook

Joe was my boss for many years at Georgia Pacific in Madison, WI. I learned at lot from him and he always treated everybody fairly. He was tough at times but only when he had to be (and should have been). I would call work early in the morning trying to get a sick day but Joe knew better, he knew I was hungover and would tell me to get in to work. He taught me the value of having a good work ethic. He will be missed.

Posted by Ron Miller - Verona, WI - Friend   March 29, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Wonderful man! His wife made clothes for me back in the 70''s.

Posted by Cindy Pickering Green - Mount Ayr, IA - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Our sympathy to you and your family.

Posted by Robert and Valinda Johnson - Camden, AR - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Betty & Family ~
We were so sorry to hear of Joe''s passing, but know he is in a much better place now. He was a kind soul and you were such good friends to Mom.
Keeping you in our prayers. Connie & Rick5

Posted by Connie (McGahuey) & Rick Stoltzfus - Arnolds Park, IA - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Betty an Family: So sorry for your loss. Sending my prayers an condolences. I always enjoyed working with Joe, he was always so kind an dependable.

Posted by Janet Glendenning - Mount Ayr, IA - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Joe played golf with my Dad so I got the joy of spending some rounds of golf "chasing the rabbit". Joe was always fun to play with & I will miss watching him walk by my office. He was a kind good man!

Posted by David Greene - Mt. Ayr - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Janet,Cindy and Jeff

Very sorry for the loss of your Dad. My Dad had lung cancer too. Just be thankful for the good times and good memories. Your Dad did a lot of good in his life. Sympathy to your Mom and I''m glad you girls are here for here.

Posted by Shirley and Dave - Mt Ayr, IA - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM