Rev. Ray Alton Snair (retired), 88, of Rockport, Texas, went to be with the Lord, whom he lovingly served, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. He passed at his home in Lamar Texas with his loving wife of 67 years by his side.
Born Nov. 7, 1926, in Parnassus, which became part of New Kensington, PA, to Albert Clarence Snair and Helena Mable (Craig) Snair, he had three brothers, Roy, Albert and Layden, and one sister Joann.
He graduated from Ken High School in New Kensington, where he joined the Marine Corps during his senior year. He completed his basic training in Paris Island, S.C., and infantry training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion 28th Marines Regiment, 5th Marine Division. He served with E Company (Easy Company) in the South Pacific, fighting in Iwo Jima and eventually the invasion of Japan. He served as an ammunition runner and then a machine gunner during his World War II battles. He lived proudly knowing his Company raised the American Flag on the on the island of Iwo Jima, the battles they fought and the difference they made in the war and in the world. He stayed in touch with the remaining warriors throughout his life, and as such helped to keep their memories alive.
He was married Oct. 4, 1947, to Verna May Bolt, with whom he raised a son and three daughters and set out to serve God and man.
Hearing his call to ministry, Ray went to Washington, D.C., where he attended seminary and was ordained July 19, 1963, as a Methodist deacon. For the next 35-plus years, he performed many sermons, weddings, baptisms and funerals during his service to the United Methodist Church. In addition to his service to the church, he was also involved in a mission with the Native American people of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference of the UMC for 17 years, and was instrumental in raising funds and building the Pine Grove Indian United Methodist Church.
Ray not only helped form the American Legion in Lower Burrell, but was instrumental in forming the city of Lower Burrell as well. In 1992, Ray was raised as a 3rd degree Master Mason by his son, Ray Snair II, and in his works he went on to become a 32nd degree Scottish Rite as well as a Shriner. Ray was a member of Northeast PA lodge 399 and a member of the Rockport, Texas, Lodge 323. He was a lifetime member of the VFW post 734 and a past commander of the American Legion.
Once retired, Ray and his wife made Rockport, Texas, and the Rockport First United Methodist Church their new home.
He is survived by his wife, Verna May Snair, of Lamar, Texas; a sister, Joann Simpson; his three children, Cynthia Lee Robbins and her husband, Edwin, Ray A Snair II and his wife, Diane, and Terri Lynn Peiffer and her husband, Rudy; a son-in-law, Mike Hirko; five grandchildren, Lucinda, Heather, Edwin, Stacy and Susan; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his daughter, Sheryl; and his three brothers, Roy, Albert and Layden.
Memorial services were held Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church in Rockport. At a later date, additional services will be held at the Lebanon United Methodist Church in Ligonier, PA. Interment will be in the Lebanon United Methodist Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Methodist Mission of your choice. Arrangements were by Charlie Marshall Funeral Home in Rockport.