Karl M. Snepp Jr.
August 9, 1931 - April 27, 2019

Karl  M. Snepp Jr.

Karl M. Snepp Jr.
Aug 9, 1931 - Apr 27, 2019

Karl  M. Snepp Jr.
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The patriarch and spirit of "Team Snepp" has died.

Karl M. Snepp, Jr., was born to Karl and Virginia Snepp in Gary, Indiana, on August 9, 1931, joining 4-year old sister Clara. He was a proud graduate of Horace Mann High School, serving as an administrator for the Class of '49 website (!) for the past several years.

As a boy, Karl enjoyed visiting his grandparents' Lebanon, Indiana, farm so much that he thought pursuing an agriculture degree at Purdue University was a good idea...until he realized he would never catch up with all those kids who GREW UP on farms! So, he switched his major to Home Economics and prepared for a food service career. (Despite rumors to the contrary, he insisted he did NOT switch his major to Home Ec to meet girls.) Karl's college activities included work on the "Debris" yearbook, through which he became good friends with fellow Gary native Suzanne Lowe. She had a boyfriend back home, so Sue relentlessly fixed up the Delta Tau Delta man Karl with her unattached Pi Beta Phi sisters. The boyfriend back home faded, Sue ran out of willing sorority sisters, took pity on Karl, and they were married for 62 years, until Sue's death in 2016.

After graduating from Purdue in 1953, Karl served as a Food Service Instructor in the U.S. Army in Monterey, California, until 1955. Becoming a family of three in June, 1955, with son Dave's birth, the Snepps returned to West Lafayette, IN, where Karl was a Residence Halls Foods Manager at Purdue University. The family grew to four with daughter Karen's birth in 1957. In 1964, Karl joined ARA Services as a Foodservice Director at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. In 1966, a perceptive boss suggested to Karl that he might be better suited for a career in human resources. He remained in HR for ARA Services until his 1991 retirement, first in a regional role in Chicago and then at ARA's corporate HQ in Philadelphia. The ARA years also included a side business with Sue, designing and making a variety of stained glass "suncatchers" and selling them through gift shops across the United States. He and Sue retired to Tucson, Arizona, for 13 years before moving to Redmond, Washington, in 2005 to be near Karen.

Following Dave's death from medullary thyroid cancer in 1988, at age 32, Karl and Sue found much-needed comfort and support in The Compassionate Friends (TCF), a national non-profit, self-help support organization for families that have had a child die at any age, from any cause ( They became active in local, regional and national TCF leadership. Together, they conducted chapter leadership training seminars throughout the U.S., and Karl served on TCF's national board of directors.

In retirement, Karl embraced many pursuits. A chance attendance at a sheepdog trial in England in 1994 planted the seed for a 10-year passion once he learned that sheepdog trials happen in this country, too. He loved being outdoors watching the competition and befriending the wonderful handlers who patiently explained the nuances of the trial. Introduction to pétanque while on a French river cruise motivated him to join the Seattle Pétanque Club, buy his own set of boules and play casual games with the club. When not discovering new hobbies through travel, Karl pursued activities at Emerald Heights, into which he and Sue moved in 2014. He had a special love for billiards. Karl also held season tickets to the WNBA Champion Seattle Storm, cheered hard for the Boilermakers, and loved the variety of shows presented at the Kirkland Performance Center.

Karl lived with prostate cancer since a 1993 diagnosis, enjoying many wonderful years through various treatments. His body eventually became unable to compete with it, and he died peacefully April 27, 2019, under the compassionate care of the team at EvergreenHealth's Hospice Care Center in Kirkland.

Karl will be remembered for his kindness, calm demeanor, intellectual curiosity and amazing retention of important and trivial facts; his smile and the twinkle in his eye; the contents of his pockets; his variety of hats; and his stellar parallel-parking skills. He is survived by daughter, Karen; sister, Clara Vogt, and her husband, Cliff; and sisters-in-law Nancy Roberts and Margaret Wright. He is also survived by a wonderful three-generation collection of nieces and nephews, including both Jeff's, Steve, Doug, Jen, Heidi, Maggie, Jessie, Annie, Todd, Scott, Stephanie, Nika, Casey, Jack, Carter, Leo, Avery & Quinn. He was so thankful for the opportunity to enjoy time with many of them, plus spouses, at last summer's "KarlFest" family gathering in Redmond.

Memorial gifts to EvergreenHealth Foundation ( or to The Compassionate Friends would be meaningful to Karl. As would a toast with a glass of a nice red wine.

Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, July 7, 2019 1:00PM-2:30PM in the Emerald Room at Emerald Heights: 10901 176th Circle NE Redmond, WA 98052 with a tribute to Karl and Jazz concert following. RSVP requested to


John Santoro on May 7, 2019

An amazing and wonderful man, an amazing and wonderful family.

John and Pam Santoro

Bill Thorness on May 6, 2019

I enjoyed a number of petanque games with Karl and always appreciated his generous spirit and his humor. And a few stories of sheepdogs!
Bill Thorness

marie Levine on May 1, 2019

Karl was special. Every one who knew him was fortunate to have walked in his shadow. A gentleman first - smart, kind, compassionate with a twinkle in his eye! He set a standard for all to follow. We've all lost a terrific role model. Here's to you Karl! Reunited at last with Sue and Dave. Much love on your travels!
Marie Levine

Terry Novy on May 1, 2019

I have known the Snepp Family for 23 years. I have had the pleasure in working with Karl and Team on several projects. Their support and committment to TCF will never be forgotten. Karl is one of the most interesting, funny and caring souls that you will ever meet. I feel lucky that I was able to meet and love this man! Karl, I will forever miss you and will think of you and Suza-belle when George and I have a good glass of wine and a gin and tonic. Forever your friends, George and Terry Novy! xoxo

Nancy Roberts on May 1, 2019

The lucky shirt, and Karl’s rooting for them, helped the Boilers all the way to the Elite 8 this year!

Debbie and Dave Buck on Apr 30, 2019

We are so sorry for your loss. We only met Carl a few times, but know he was a friendly and cheerful man who loved his family. All our sympathy, the Buck family

Clara Snepp Vogt on Apr 30, 2019



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Celebration Of Life

Emerald Heights (In Emerald Room)
10901 176th Circle NE
Redmond , Washington 98052
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
With a tribute and Jazz concert following. RSVP requested to

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