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Joseph L. Snelson

October 20, 1951 May 2, 2012
Joseph L. Snelson
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Obituary for Joseph L. Snelson
Joseph L. Snelson, age 60, passed away on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at his home. He was born October 20, 1951 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He is survived by his wife, Diana (Roodell-Rickeard); step-children, Diona Green, Marc Rickeard and Raven Rickeard; 4 grandchildren; 4 brothers, Dan Snelson, Jack Snelson, Fred Snelson and Pete Snelson; sister, Marilyn Snelson-Temple; and many nieces and nephews.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph E. and Iva L. (Lowrie) Snelson; his brother, Patrick Snelson; many aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Joe married the love of his life, Diana on February 18, 1995. They made their home in Frederic, Wisconsin.

Joe was a man who lived life to the fullest. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 39 which met at Hamline United Methodist Church in St. Paul. He attained the rank of Life Scout and was a member of Order of the Arrow. Joe was a former president of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Sitzmark Ski Club. He organized ski trips to Switzerland, Germany and France as well as trips here in the U.S. Joe skied down the Matterhorn! During one of his trips to Colorado he participated in a Nastar Downhill Ski race where he earned the nickname "Mad Bomber." He had placed in the race.

Joe will also be remembered for his robot costumes. Besides the flashing lights, sounds and synthesizer, it had a drinking finger connected to a pump. Joe won awards with it and traveled around several states. It was powered by a car battery that his brother, Jack carried around behind him.

Joe loved to travel with his wife, Diana. They took many trips to Florida. Disney World, Epcot and Universal Studios were some of his favorite adventures. Joe also had many exciting trips with his 750-4 Honda motorcycle. But perhaps his favorite thing to do was running his 1950 Chris-Craft Cruiser on the St. Croix River. He was known for his margaritas and needed an industrial strength blender.

Joe worked in many different jobs in his life: LoPrice Supermarket, Onan Corporation (he designed their electronics manufacturing floor), Pawn Shop, Meninger Homes, and for Alion-McNally's Center for Product Technologies. Joe was a key designer and builder of the EMRAID (Enhanced Mobile Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) project for the military. This device would detect where IED's were being placed and warned our soldiers of impending danger. Joe's device has saved countless lives and limbs of those serving our country. The Army has since taken over the project and has used it in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe was a mechanical genius.

Joe will be remembered for many things, but to those who knew him we will never forget that if you needed something, he was always ready to help.

Joe requested that his body be cremated and set free.

A Service of Remembrance and Celebration of Joe’s life will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Northwoods Crossing Center (highways 70/35 and County Road B) in Siren, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity. Condolences and memorials may be directed to his family.
Online condolences may be left at or Please continue to check these websites for updated information or call Bruce Rowe at 715-327-4475.

Rowe Funeral Home of Frederic and the Northwest Wisconsin Cremation Center in Milltown have been entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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