William David "Bill" Snipes Sr.
Malloy & Son Funeral Home
William David "Bill" Snipes Sr. passed away Thursday, February 4, 2010 at Gulf Healthcare Center in Galveston, Texas. He was born July 5, 1925 in Galveston, Texas, to William M. Snipes and Ida Mae McMillen Snipes. He was preceded in death by his parents, mother- and father-in-law Clyde and Hazel Goings, sisters Mary Poth and Leona Amato Christensen and grandfather Marion McMillen.
Bill began working at age 8 as a delivery boy for Wright's Drug Store. He also worked for A&P Food Stores while attending both Lovenberg and Stephen F. Austin Junior High and Ball High School. He received his high school diploma on November 11, 2001 at a special high school graduation ceremony for veterans of the Armed Services who served during World War II.
On July 5, 1942, with his parents' permission, he joined the United States Marine Corps and departed for boot camp in San Diego, California, on July 11, 1942. He sailed out for his tour of duty to the South Pacific on the Johnston and Marshall Islands, and finally on the island of Okinawa on April 1, 1944. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant on December 15, 1945. While serving in the Pacific Theater he was baptized in the Majuro Atoll on June 20, 1944.
While in the service he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Legion of Merit Citation as well as many other medals and awards. Upon returning home he joined his father at Snipes Household Supply, serving the Galveston community since 1919.
Bill was a member of First Baptist Church from as early as the cradle roll, ordained as a deacon and serving for over 50 years in various rolls and functions, including Sunday School director and director of the Senior Adult Sunday School department. In 1994 he and his wife, Iris, commissioned the Stain Glass Window honoring World War II veterans located in the Harold L. Fickett Chapel at First Baptist.
He was a past Master of Harmony Lodge #6 AF & AM and dual member of Tucker Lodge #297 AF & AM. He was awarded his 50-year member award in 2007 and served as Worshipful Master, District Deputy Grand Master and Grand Chaplin, Grand Lodge of Texas and served on various Grand Lodge committees. Additionally, he served as Thrice Illustrious Master of Galveston Council, Royal and Select Masters, District Deputy Grand Master and Grand Chaplin, High Priest, Royal Arch Masons, District Deputy Grand High Priest and Grand Chaplin, Royal Arch Masons of Texas, as well as Eminent Commander, Knights Templar, Grand Prelate, Grand Commandery of Texas, Knights Templar and served 50 years as Prelate. He received the Knights Templar Cross of Honor in 1972 and served as the first Chairman of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation from 1967 to 1988. He also served as Grand Representative for all four Grand Bodies. He was Past Patron, Mizpah Chapter #2, Order of the Eastern Star, DeMolay Advisor, and recipient of Grand Cross of Color Order of Rainbow Girls. Bill also was a 50-year member of El Mina Shriners and a member of the Shriners Model T Club.
Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years Iris Goings Snipes of Galveston, son William D. Snipes Jr. of Bellaire, Texas, daughters Pamela Alexander and husband Steve of Bayou Vista, Texas, and Denise Hollman and husband Jerry of Pasadena, Texas, grandchildren Steve Alexander Jr. of Dallas, Texas, Melissa Alexander Weber and husband Paul of San Antonio, Texas, Michael Snipes and Ryan Snipes of Galveston, and CC Hollman and KK Hollman of Pasadena, Texas, and special nephew Ben Amato of Conroe, Texas. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Clothilde Goings Morse of Galveston as well as other nieces and nephews and special friend Diane Foreman.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 until 8:00 pm, Monday, February 8th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home in Galveston, with services on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Malloy & Son Funeral Home officiated by Rev. Jerry Hollman of Pasadena. Burial will follow immediately at Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to First Baptist Church Galveston building fund, 822 Tremont, Galveston, Texas 77550.