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Joe Darrell Snodgrass

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Joe Darrell Snodgrass, also known as “Firecracker Joe,” passed away on April 6, 2020. He died at his home in Shawnee from natural causes. He was surrounded by family and the peace of Jesus Christ.

Joe was born in Alex, Oklahoma, on March 10, 1931. He lived with his mother Emma Landsdown Snodgrass in Earlsboro during his early years. They moved to Shawnee and Joe graduated from Shawnee High School in 1949. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1960.

Joe was a member of Faith Community Church in Shawnee.

Joe was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. His wife Shirley was a member of Eastern Star. They were members of the Masonic Lodge #479 in Meeker.

Joe was a veteran of the Air Force reserves and was called to active duty during the Korean War in 1951. He served at Tinker AFB and was honorably discharged in 1953.

Joe was employed by Sylvania until 1961. In that year he went to work as a computer programmer at Tinker AFB. After 39 years he retired with a spotless record in 2000.

Joe was an entrepreneur and always had a side venture going. He sold rides to commuters from Shawnee to Tinker. He owned the Owl Shoppe in Shawnee and conducted several different activities there. But most of his efforts were given to the fireworks business. Joe began selling fireworks in 1967. Since then, under the leadership of Lori Snodgrass and with other family members, the business has thrived and grown. Today Firecracker Joe’s has become one of the largest fireworks distributors in Oklahoma.

Joe was a loving and devoted family man. He had seven children, 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He spent as much time as possible with his kids, taking them fishing and on family vacations. He was a big fan of the grandkids sports activities.

He is preceded in death by his first wife Francis Nadine Wilder, his oldest daughter Alana Francis Blystone, his second wife Shirley Ann Wade, his third wife Helen Jane Lupton and brother Clovis McIninch.

Joe is survived by sons Jeffry (Scottie) and wife Zeela of Oklahoma City, Kelly and wife Paige of Noble, Mark of Shawnee, John and wife Lori of Shawnee, and daughters Patricia Pere and husband Tutai of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and Patricia Summerville and husband Tim of Owasso. Joe is also survived by a longtime friend and travel companion Celia Bryan.

The viewing will be held at Resthaven Funeral Home in Shawnee on Monday, April 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. A private family funeral service will also be held at Resthaven on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m. The service will be available to watch on Resthaven Funeral Home Facebook for a Facebook live event. All of the services will be restricted to no more than 10 people at any time.

A public celebration of Joe’s life and memorial of his legacy will be held later this year as circumstances allow. An announcement of the date and details will be made on Facebook.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a charitable contribution in Joe’s name to American Cancer Society or the Shriners Hospital or to the Oklahoma Veterans Hospital