Gary Allen Snell was born February 20, 1960, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the third of four children of Ray and Beverly Snell. Gary unexpectedly passed into eternity while sleeping early Sunday, July 26, 2020. The sixty years of Gary’s life seem not enough to those that knew him. He was full of life, love, and purpose.
Gary experienced the life-changing power of Jesus Christ at the young age of 20. Over the years, he was involved in many aspects of church activity, including playing in a band, acting in skit comedies, bringing God’s word to his community, and spreading joy to all who knew him. He even took great pleasure participating in our annual Children’s Church Christmas Play.
Gary dedicated the last twenty years of his professional life as a correctional officer at his place of employment, Core Civic. He recently found a new role that he loved at the US Marshall’s office in Phoenix. He had a long record of compassionate care for the imprisoned.
He was a big man with an even bigger heart. Some would call him a gentle giant. He would always greet you with a big, warm smile and was continually willing to lend a helping hand. He was a lover of history, music, hiking, swimming, road trips, and especially kids. Gary and Val found great joy in providing critical foster care to dozens of children in crisis. His many years of faithfulness to the Lord give us great comfort that he woke up in Heaven in the presence of Jesus and has entered his reward in glory.
He was such an essential part of so many peoples’ lives, but especially those he leaves behind, including his wife of eighteen years and best friend, Valerie, his daughter, Taya, step-children, Ron Jr., Mallory, and Justin, and beloved grandchildren, Jaylee, Adalyn, Evelynn, Melannie, Julianna, and Noah. Gary also leaves behind an extraordinary testimony as a long-term pillar of his congregation, The Door Church in Chandler, AZ.
A Celebration of Gary’s Life will take place Saturday, August 1, at The Door Church at 585 E Frye Rd. in Chandler, AZ. A viewing will begin at 9 AM, followed by a Memorial Service at 10 AM. There will then be a procession to a 12 PM Gravesite Burial at Valley of the Sun Cemetary, located at 10940 E Chandler Heights Rd, Chandler, AZ.