Bob Snead Death Dead – Bob Snead Obituary: Cause of Death

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Bob Snead Death Dead – Bob Snead Obituary: Cause of Death

Bob Snead, an El Paso artist, actor and decorated war veteran who told the stories of Black soldiers of the frontier, died on Saturday. He was 84.

A memorial service is planned for El Paso in the next week to 10 days, Snead’s family said.

Snead retired in El Paso after a 30-year career as a military aviator. He received three Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War, among other military decorations. He starred in a touring one-man play called “Held in Trust: The Story of Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper,” about the life, mistreatment and ultimate redemption of the first Black man to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The one-man show was broadcast by PBS in 1996, featuring an introduction by Gen. Colin Powell.

His paintings focused on Western themes, particularly the Buffalo Soldiers, all-Black units sent to battle Native Americans in the Southwest and Great Plains after the Civil War. Snead’s art expanded public awareness of the Black soldiers.

Snead did a show of some of his Buffalo Soldier artwork in March 2019 in Marshall, Texas.

“I think it’s great that the people are so interested in this part of history and that they want to come out and see it and to be part of it, and learn a little bit more about it,” he told a Marshall TV station. “Because this is a part of history that not a lot of people know about.”

El Paso Matters
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Bob Snead — noted El Paso artist, actor and war hero — dies at 84
Robert Moore July 11, 2020
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Bob Snead, an El Paso artist, actor and decorated war veteran who told the stories of Black soldiers of the frontier, died on Saturday. He was 84.

Bob Snead — soldier, artist, actor
A memorial service is planned for El Paso in the next week to 10 days, Snead’s family said.

Snead retired in El Paso after a 30-year career as a military aviator. He received three Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War, among other military decorations. He starred in a touring one-man play called “Held in Trust: The Story of Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper,” about the life, mistreatment and ultimate redemption of the first Black man to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The one-man show was broadcast by PBS in 1996, featuring an introduction by Gen. Colin Powell.

His paintings focused on Western themes, particularly the Buffalo Soldiers, all-Black units sent to battle Native Americans in the Southwest and Great Plains after the Civil War. Snead’s art expanded public awareness of the Black soldiers.

Snead did a show of some of his Buffalo Soldier artwork in March 2019 in Marshall, Texas.

“I think it’s great that the people are so interested in this part of history and that they want to come out and see it and to be part of it, and learn a little bit more about it,” he told a Marshall TV station. “Because this is a part of history that not a lot of people know about.”

A Renaissance Man
Ouisa Davis, who knew Snead for decades, said he was a man of many talents and accomplishments.

“He was one of the most versatile and talented artists I have ever met. He was a true Renaissance Man, equally able to maneuver through various stratum of society and bring life to form and substance. He was so well-rounded that I cannot even focus on one segment of this wonderful soul,” she said.

Bob Snead portrayed Lt. Henry O. Flipper, the first Black graduate of West Point, in a one-man play he wrote and produced. (Photo courtesy of the Snead family)
Davis said Snead considered El Paso home, even though he settled here in middle age.

“He loved El Paso for its multicultural diversity, its proximity with Mexico, and its wide open spaces. He was happy to call El Paso home,’ even as he spoke of the barriers to really being included in the ‘artistic’ community,” she said.

El Paso businesswoman Sandra Reid said she and her husband, Wilbert, met Snead during a performance of his Flipper play.

“Our son Erron (2 years old at the time) decided to holler loud enough to drown out Bob’s performance. As I prepared to take Erron out, Bob stopped his performance and said to me and the audience, ‘It’s OK, babies do that.’ The audience laughed and applauded. Fortunately Erron (who is 30 years old now) was quiet the rest of the play. That was the beginning of our beautiful friendship with him and his wife Joyce. He did not know a stranger,” Reid said.

A daughter’s tribute
Snead’s daughter, Karen Partee, wrote this tribute to her father:

PROSPER, Texas — Retired army aviator and noted El Paso artist and actor Bob Snead has died. He was 84.

Snead, who had recently relocated to North Texas, passed away July 11 in his Prosper, Texas, home surrounded by family, following a four-and-a-half year battle with advanced stage colon cancer.

As a 42-year resident of the Sun City, Snead was known to many El Pasoans as a modern-day Renaissance man; he was at once a war hero, an accomplished artist, a stage actor, an entrepreneur, and a noted historian.

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