Thomas A. Snowden Jr .
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2008
Thomas A. Snowden, Jr., dedicated public servant, longtime civic leader and businessman, dear friend, and beloved family man, died at his Pelham home on June 10, 2008. Tommy, as he was called by most, was born to Thomas A. Snowden and Bessie Varner Snowden in Bay Minette, Ala. on Nov. 27, 1932. He grew up in Montgomery. Tommy served in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict. He moved to Shelby County, Alabama in 1958. He was appointed Shelby County Tax Assessor by Governor Lurleen B. Wallace in April, 1968 and continued to serve in that office until he was elected and sworn in as Judge of Probate in January, 1977. His elected responsibilities included Chairmanship of the Shelby County Commission from 1977 – 1990. Judge Snowden retired from public office in January 1995 and pursued a career in real estate sales, while continuing the civic and charitable work that he held so dear.
Judge Snowden helped shape decades of explosive growth in Shelby County. In 1983, he opened the first countywide branch license office, fulfilling his 1976 campaign promise. Another issue that Judge Snowden believed to be critical to the development of his county was additional sources of water. He began working toward this in the late 1970’s and a few years later his efforts were instrumental in the development of the Shelby – Talladega water system, supplying a much needed resource to both counties. Some of Judge Snowden’s other accomplishments include: implementing the first state-of-the-art digital recording system in the state of Alabama, streamlining accounting procedures in the commission office; helping establish the Shelby County Agri-Center, the Heart of Dixie Railroad, the Shelby County National Weather Station, and assisting with the incorporation of Indian Springs Village. Tommy’s community involvement was widespread and included such positions as President of the Alabama Association of Probate Judges,
Past Master of Calera Masonic Lodge #445, member of the Governor’s Advisory Council On Aging, establishing the first county senior citizens club, Charter President of the Shelby County Historical Society, Charter President of the Calera Jaycees, Charter President of the Shelby County Cancer Society, and Board Member of the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. Judge Snowden was also involved in the American Legion, the American Heart Association, United Cerebral Palsy, the Boy Scouts of America, and was a charter member of the Shelby County YMCA.
Tommy is survived by his wife of 32 years, Dixie Jones Snowden; sons, Kevin Snowden of Pelham and Thomas A. Snowden III (Laura) of Locust Grove, Ga.; daughter Lisa Noah (Alston) of Athens, Ala.; step-daughter Susan Benson (Jeff) of Montevallo; step-son Baxter Pamplin of Alabaster; sister Jean Hunter of Wetumpka, Ala.; and granddaughter Candace Connell (Brandon) of Nashville, Tenn. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, JoAnn Peterson.
Tommy Snowden lived by his motto ” I try to treat everybody, every day, the way I want to be treated.” He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
The visitation will be held at Helena United Methodist Church on Thursday, June 12, 2008 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the same location on Friday, June 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm. Pastors Ron Cox and Michael Edmondson will officiate. Burial to follow at Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham, Ala