Mildred Snelbaker

Obituary of Mildred Snelbaker

Mildred Ruebsamen Snelbaker, 1922-2019

Mildred Ruebsamen Snelbaker, 96, died on February 1, 2019 at the Great Falls Assisted Living Community in Herndon. The cause of death was complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. Born Mildred Betty Ruebsamen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 4, 1922 and known throughout her life as Millie, she earned First Class Scout, then the Girl Scouts’ highest award, in 1937, and was a 1940 graduate of Frankford High School, Philadelphia. She earned her BS degree in home economics in 1944 at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she was an officer of the Pi Alpha Tau sorority and head majorette of the Albright Band. On October 21, 1944 in Philadelphia she married Albright classmate James Kenneth Snelbaker, who was ordained in the Evangelical United Brethren and the United Methodist Church. Together they served in ministry during her husband’s 26 years of active service as a United States Navy Chaplain from World War II through the Vietnam War, during which time she lived and worked in Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Bermuda, Florida, California, and Pennsylvania. She was a professional hospital dietician during her years as a Navy spouse and worked as a food quality control inspector at the H.J. Heinz Company in San Francisco. Millie was an engaged, active, outgoing social hostess, gourmet cook, and bridge player; served as president of the Navy Officers’ Wives League in Pensacola, Florida in 1962; and was an adult leader in the Girl Scouts. She became regionally acclaimed for her artistry in flower arrangement, winning numerous Garden Club competitions including the National Chrysanthemum Society Show in Valley Forge. She was a teacher in the Washington Township, New Jersey School District prior to her retirement in 1974. In retirement Millie was a devoted hospital volunteer giving thousands of service hours to Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, New Jersey; Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, New Jersey; and the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She lived in Turnersville and Absecon, New Jersey, and later in Lower Macungie Township and in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she was an active member of the Asbury United Methodist Church. She was predeceased by her parents Harry E. Ruebsamen (1900-1997) and Laura Bauer Ruebsamen (1896-1995); her sister Doris Ruebsamen Blackmore (1919-1995); and her husband of 47 years, the Reverend James Kenneth Snelbaker (1922-1992). She is survived by two daughters, Janet Snelbaker Clark (James Buchanan Graham) of Edmond, Oklahoma and Barbara Snelbaker Pocalyko (Michael Nicholas Pocalyko) of Reston, Virginia; two grandchildren, James Kenneth Pocalyko of Herndon, Virginia and the Reverend Kathryn Laura Pocalyko (Daniel Curtis Silverman) of Richmond, Virginia; a great-grandchild, Naomi Barbara Silverman of Richmond, Virginia; a niece, Dr. Diane Blackmore Forsythe (Grant Cameron Forsythe) of Cary, North Carolina; and a nephew, David Harry Blackmore of Barto, Pennsylvania. A private graveside service and burial in the family plot at Hillside Cemetery in Roslyn, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania will take place on Friday, February 8, 2019.

Share Your Memory of