Doris King Snell entered heaven on Friday night, Sept. 18, 2015. What a joy it must have been!
She was born in Vernon on Oct. 26, 1920, the third child of Dr. Thomas Albert King and Ethel Stuart King, and she spent most of her 94 years in her beloved hometown. In 1937, Doris graduated as salutatorian of her class at Vernon High School, where she was elected All-School favorite. During high school she met her true love, Henry Dewitt Snell, Jr. (Jack), and much of their dating and bonding occurred as Doris accompanied Jack in a truck on his route delivering groceries. Doris studied at Stephens College, a school for women in Columbia, Missouri before transferring to Texas Christian University, where she graduated in 1941. She and Jack married in Vernon at her parents’ home on Paradise Street on October 28, 1941; shortly thereafter, they moved to Fort Worth where Jack worked at Consolidated Aircraft in support of our nation’s World War II military efforts. After several years in Altus, Okla., where Jack worked under his father in the grocery business, the young couple managed together to purchase the United Supermarkets operation in Vernon in 1948, and they moved here to establish their home and raise their growing family.
Due to Jack’s untimely death in 1976, Doris was the rock of her family for 39 years; her impeccable character, her unqualified love and support, the beautiful personal integrity and strength which were hallmarks of her life inspire her children and grandchildren. She knew how to live life one day at a time. She was never judgmental, was unselfish to her core, and loved with all her heart. She enjoyed special relationships with friends of varied age groups from all walks of life.
Doris loved her God and her church; she loved her Wall Street Journal. She loved her United family. (The Vernon United was her second home!) She treasured her role as “Momma Doris”. A passionate sports fan, she was consumed with her weekend TV viewing schedule. She cheered for T.C.U. and Texas Tech and Roger Federer. She never gave up on Tiger Woods. She cherished the book Jesus Calling; her favorite movie was “Chariots of Fire”. Doris was a lover of broadway and classical and country. She was ever-curious and loved learning at 94. She was forever proud of Vernon and was a fiercely patriotic American.
Preceding Doris in death were her parents; her husband; her sister, Sara King Wright; and her brother, Tom King, Jr.
Doris will live forever in the hearts of her daughter Ann Bumstead and husband Frank of Nashville, TN; her son Robert Snell of Lubbock and Cindy Shelton Snell of Lubbock; and her daughter Sara Jane Snell of Wichita Falls. Loving grandchildren are Gantt Bumstead and wife Robin of Fort Worth; Matt Bumstead and wife Krista of Lubbock; Ashley Wood of Austin; Robert Wood of Brooklyn, NY; Mary Jordan Wood and husband, Dr. Ben Newman of Dallas; David Snell of Dallas; and Ann Clayton Snell of Lubbock. Great grandchildren are Bass, Merrill, Mary Evans, and Witt Bumstead of Fort Worth; Susannah, Ash, and Nate Bumstead of Lubbock; Sydney and Greyson Snell of Lubbock; June Gaar of Austin; and Bo and Marlo Newman of Dallas.
The family wishes to honor Elias and Carolina Sanchez of Vernon. Our mother loved them as part of our family, and they loved her in return over many, many years. Their loyalty and kindness, their devotion and genuine concern for her well-being have been blessings in our lives, and we will be forever grateful.
The family also appreciates the loving help offered by caregivers Yolanda Fuentes, Mary Clement and Claudia Maldonado of Vernon, as well the dedication and support provided by the Hospice of Wichita Falls team.
A private family burial will take place on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 12:00 Noon. The memorial service, under the direction Senior Pastor Gib Baskerville and Dr. Ike Butterworth, First Presbyterian Church, Wichita Falls, will be held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Vernon at 2:00 p.m. An opportunity to speak with family will follow the service.
Memorial tributes may be sent to:
The Boys and Girls Club of Vernon
2015 Yamparka Street, Vernon, Texas 76384.
First Baptist Church
2003 Fannin St., Vernon, Texas 76384.
(Designated for Vernon College Foundation General Fund)
4400 College Drive, Vernon, Texas 76384.
Hospice of Wichita Falls
4909 Johnson Road, Wichita Falls, Texas. 76310.