Louis LaDon Snellgrove

Published 5:59 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

Dr. Louis LaDon “Don” Snellgrove, 89, of Greenville passed away Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at LV Stabler Memorial Hospital following a sudden illness.  Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, at the First Baptist Church of Greenville with the Reverend Chase Clower officiating and Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home directing.  The family will greet friends at the church from 12:30 p.m. until service time. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery.

Dr. Snellgrove was born Oct. 22, 1927, in Ozark, Ala., to Louis Wilson Snellgrove and Mattie Mary Jones Snellgrove.  He was the youngest of four children:  John Purnell Snellgrove, William Jones Snellgrove, and Martha Elizabeth Snellgrove Henderson, all of whom predeceased Dr. Snellgrove.  Dr. Snellgrove was also preceded in death by his nephew Thomas H. Nicholas.  He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Margaret Elizabeth Nicholas Snellgrove, daughter Margaret Elizabeth “Beth” Snellgrove Chastain, and son John Nicholas Snellgrove (Annette), all of Greenville; three grandchildren, Elizabeth Chastain Johnson (David) of Fairhope, Dock Chastain (Eileen) of Happy Camp, Calif., and Caroline Snellgrove of Greenville; four great grandsons, Owen, Collin, Reid and Sawyer Johnson of Fairhope; and several special nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Dock Chastain, Dr. Caleb Gardner, Earl Henderson, Dr. David Johnson, Clay Nicholas and Joe Nicholas.           

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Dr. Snellgrove’s life reflected many years of dedication and service to his profession, his community, his patients, and his church. 

After graduating from Dale County High School in Ozark, Ala., Dr. Snellgrove attended college in Chicago, Ill., and graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry.  In 1949, he moved to Greenville and began his practice.  On Aug. 31, 1952, he married Margaret, and shortly thereafter, he was called to active duty during the Korean War.  He was forced to close his practice and he and Margaret moved to San Antonio, Texas, and then later to New York, living in Brooklyn and in Manhattan, where he served for three years as an Optometry Officer with the U.S. Army.  In 1955, he was discharged as a captain, with eight years reserve and active duty service.   Returning to Greenville, Dr. Snellgrove re-entered private practice and continued to serve his patients until his retirement in August 2007, at the young age of 80.  Throughout his career, Dr. Snellgrove attended many post graduate courses at the University of Alabama School of Optometry in Birmingham, and worked diligently to improve the professional standards and educational opportunities for future optometrists.  He felt his greatest professional accomplishment was his work in the establishment of the School of Optometry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  In 1968, he was named the Optometrist of the Year, as recognition primarily for his efforts toward that project.  Throughout his career, Dr. Snellgrove continued to work for the betterment of his profession.  He served as the first chairman of the State of Alabama Medicaid Peer Review Committee for Optometry and continued to serve as chairman for 16 years.  He was a member of the Alabama Optometric Association and served as association president in 1967.   He was a member and past trustee of the Southern Council of Optometry and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.   

Dr. Snellgrove was a dedicated member of the Greenville Kiwanis Club, serving his community and the club’s mission for over 50 years.  He was also a member and past president of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.   

He was a dedicated and longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Greenville, serving as church treasurer, deacon, Sunday School superintendent, and Sunday School teacher for over 35 years, and substitute teacher for an additional 30 years.  He was a member of Gideons International and had the privilege and honor of visiting over 65 churches in Alabama and sharing his personal testimony and mission of Gideons International. 

To his family and friends, Dr. Snellgrove left his greatest legacy:  He will long be remembered for his dedication to his profession, his compassion for his patients, and most importantly, his enduring love for his friends, his family, and his Lord. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Greenville or to one’s favorite charity.

Online condolences may be made at www.dunklinanddanielsfh.com.