George Edward “Ed” Snell passed away September 5. He was 99.
Snell was born April 10, 1915, in Nashville, Tennessee, to Bentson and Mamie Snell. At the end of World War II, in 1945, he was released from his job with a defense contractor and moved his family to Arkansas to assume management of the Little Rock, Arkansas, branch of what was then called the Snell Artificial Limb Company, owned by his uncle R. W. “Pop” Snell. He underwent a six-week internship, and then purchased that location a year later. By 1950 he had expanded the business to include orthotic devices and renamed it Snell Limb and Brace Company; in 1976 the company was renamed again, to its current title, Snell Prosthetic and Orthotic Laboratory.
Snell was among the first practitioners to qualify as a certified prosthetist and orthotist by what is now known as the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC). He was among the first to attend the initial formal education classes for O&P practitioners at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the 1950s and later at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, in the 1960s. He was an ABC examiner in the 1960s and 1970s, serving as prosthetic exam chairman in 1973. He was always striving to upgrade the profession and increase its respect in the medical community.
As reported in an online obituary, Snell was a member of the Freemasonry fraternal organization. He was a member of the Airflow Club of America and the Arkansas Travelers Antique Car Club. He spent many hours restoring antique cars. He was involved in the founding and operation of the Museum of Automobiles, Morrilton, Arkansas, and served on its board of directors for many years until his death. Woodwork and carving were also lifelong activities.
Snell was predeceased by his parents; siblings; wife, Marjorie; and son, George Edward Snell Jr. Survivors include daughters, Kathy Tadlock (Charles) and Carolyn O’Cain (Mike); and son Frank (Susan); six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.