Services set for centenarian World War II veteran from South Ozone Park who died on Veterans Day

Photo by Rebecca Snell

Funeral services have been arranged for Earl Alfred Snell — a World War II veteran who died on Veterans Day, shortly after celebrating his 102nd birthday — for this coming Saturday at the Bergen Funeral Home in South Ozone Park.

The Nov. 24 funeral will have a viewing from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 114-30 Rockaway Blvd., and the service will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to his daughter Rebecca Snell.

Snell was born Oct. 15, 1916, to a farmer and a housewife in Virginia, and later served as a Technician Fifth Grade on a warship for the U.S. Army and on the front lines in Okinawa, Japan from April 30, 1942, to Jan. 9, 1945, according to his certificate from the military, which said he was honorably discharged.

“I was a good shot in the Army,” said Snell. “They were shooting, but they missed me. They shot my hat right off my head.”

The fight on Okinawa was so bloody that he remembers loading injured and dead men on three trucks. “They were shooting all day and all night,” said Snell. “It was like bop-bop-bop-bop-bop.” After his service, he traveled across the U.S. to Maryland, California and then later settled in Harlem.

He met his wife Carrie, a nanny who moved from Georgia. Sparks flew when they met on the Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. They got married Aug. 27, 1949, and lived in Long Island City, until moving to other parts of Queens and settling in South Ozone Park in 1966.

He did odd jobs until he worked at Astoria Chevrolet Dealership for 30 years. He took care of his wife for the last two years of her life and combed her hair after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“They are together again. You can die of a broken heart. My 102-year-old father couldn’t wait to see my mother who left him only two months ago,” said Rebecca. ” A final farewell and loving salute to my father.”

Together the couple had seven kids, five grandchildren, 11 great-grandkids and one great-great-grandchild.


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