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It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jim Snell announces his passing on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, at the age of 88 years.

Funeral visitation was scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, at LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Funeral services were at 11 a.m., Monday, April 28, 2014, at LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Pastor Bill Whitehead of Roswell Baptist Temple officiated with interment to follow at South Park Cemetery.

Jim was born Jan. 15, 1926, in Boonville, Mo., to Lewis and Belva Snell. He wed Melba Shadden on June 26, 1949, and they were happily married for 64 years. She survives him at the family home in Roswell, N.M.

Jim served his country for six years in the United States Air Force during WWII as a Tech Sergeant in Japan. He was in the High Altitude Reconnaissance Squadron where he was a Tail Gunner on a B24 Liberator Bomber and later an engineer on the same plane.

Jim was an active Realtor in Roswell since 1950. He served as President of the Roswell Board of Realtors, and in 1969 was chosen as Realtor of the Year. In 1967 he was President of the NM Realtors Association, where he initiated the first educational program for NM Realtors, known as GRI, which is still used today by RANM. Jim was designated Realtor Emeritus Status by the National Association of Realtors in 2005. He was also on the Planning & Zoning Committee of the City of Roswell, past member of the Sertoma Club, President of the YMCA, past member of the United Way Board, and member of the First Baptist Church.

Jim had a great love for music and enjoyed playing piano and guitar, making countless memories with his children and grandchildren singing songs and dancing. He grew up on a farm in Missouri where he returned every year. He and Melba spent many summers in Ruidoso at their beloved cabin. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, tennis, and animals. Jim had a passion for flying, had his pilot’s license and owned his own planes for over 30 years. He loved God, cherished life, and lived for his family; he will be greatly missed.

Jim will be lovingly remembered by his two daughters: Sharon June Snell Hopkins and her husband Mark, and Lana Jo Snell Peterson; eleven grandchildren: Kenda Collins Giron and husband Cris, Kera Collins Fresquez and her husband Donald, James Martin, Matthew Martin and his wife Brooke, Roy (Tres) Spencer III and his wife Deborah, Elizabeth (Rose) Spencer Wright and her husband T.J., Olivia Hopkins and her husband Aryon, Daniel Hopkins, Andrew Hopkins, Ariel Hopkins, and Matthew Peterson; fourteen great grandchildren: Leighan Collins, Branen Norton-Giron, Ciana Giron, Kaiden Giron, Ariana Fresquez, Amara (Irene) Fresquez, Ayla Fresquez, Sarah Martin, Hannah Martin, Emily Martin, Faith Spencer, Daisy Spencer, Toby Joe Wright, and Lily Wright; one great-great grandchild: Jude Foxx; one cousin: Russell Hall; and many extended family and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Duane Snell; his son-in-law, David Peterson; and his great-grandson, William (John) Martin.

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.

Donations may be made in memory of Jim to the Roswell Humane Society, 703 W. McGaffey, Roswell, NM 88203. The family will receive flowers at LaGrone Funeral Chapel.

Condolences may be made online at

Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.

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