Obituary and Condolences

Richard "Dick" Snavely

April 1, 1946 June 6, 2018
Richard "Dick" Snavely
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Obituary for Richard "Dick" Snavely

Dick was born in Iowa City on April 1, 1946, the son of Carl and Dr. A. Eloise Martin Snavely. His early years were spent on the family farm. After moving to Iowa City, he became a “Blue Hawk”, attending University Schools from grade 2 to his graduation in 1964. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in geology and psychology from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, in 1969. Shortly thereafter he began a thirty-seven year career in corrections at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Beginning as a correctional counselor, after earning a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Iowa in 1975, he became a psychologist until his retirement in 2006. While still employed, he became interested in prison history and was instrumental in starting the Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum. He was its director until September 2015.

He married Dr. Clarella (Ellie) Guider September 25, 1976. They had two children, Jonathan of Waukee, and Kristen of New York City. He was closely involved in their activities as they were growing up. The family enjoyed camping, bicycling, boating, arts performances and traveling. In recent years he and Ellie traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe.

Life with Dick was always an adventure. He had many interests and never lacked for something to do. He collected coins and belonged to the Old Capitol Coin Club at a very early age. He was active in technical theatre in high school. He bought his first car at age 16, a 1928 Model A Ford, which he completely restored. He enjoyed anything he could drive whether it was an ice cream Jolly Wagon (his summer job in high school) a county road maintenance vehicle (his summer job while in college), a snowmobile, or an airplane. With a great love of flying he earned a private pilot’s license in 1969 and bought an airplane shortly after, a 1946 Aeronca Champ. He was known as pool shark, often impressing people by showing up with his own pool cue. He enjoyed making pottery and photography, at times doing his own developing. He developed an interest in genealogy, researching his family history extensively. He co-authored an Arcadia History book on Penitentiary history and consulted on several other books.

Survivors include his wife, son, daughter, and a brother Keith (Kay) of Chester, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

The family will greet friends from 5-6:30 pm at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City followed immediately by a Memorial Service. Burial will be held at Ridgewood Cemetery in North Liberty on Tuesday. Memorials may be directed to the Anamosa Penitentiary Museum and the student pilot scholarship program of the Greencastle Aeroclub Foundation Inc.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 6/11/2018 5:00:00 PM - 6:30 PM 6/11/2018 6:30:00 PM
Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City

605 Kirkwood Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

A memorial service with a time of sharing will begin at 6:30 pm.

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City
605 Kirkwood Avenue Iowa City 52240 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Ridgewood Cemetery Final Resting Place

Scales Bend Road
North Liberty, Iowa 52317

Scales Bend Road North Liberty 52317 Iowa
United States

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