Charles Melton Snipes, 85, of Hickory, passed away on Sunday February 24, 2019 at Frye Regional Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.
Born on May 17, 1933 in Lincolnton, he was the son of John Wesley Snipes and Mary Devine Snipes. He was educated in the Lincoln County school system and graduated from Lincolnton High School. He then served in the United States Army Security Agency for three years before being honorably discharged. Upon his return to North Carolina, he enrolled at Lenoir Rhyne College, now University, and graduated in 1958. It was while he was at Lenoir Rhyne that a professor suggested he consider a career in banking with the First National Bank of Catawba County. This advice started Charles on what would become an extremely successful 50 year career in banking that not only brought him great professional satisfaction, but allowed him to be an instrumental and influential part of the growth of Catawba County during that time span. He started out as a management trainee in 1958, progressing rapidly through the bank, ultimately becoming a Senior Vice President. After serving briefly as Regional Executive of First Union, Charles made the decision to join the Bank of Granite as Executive Vice President. Over the next 26 years, Charles moved up the ranks at Bank of Granite, ultimately becoming Chairman of the holding company before retiring in April, 2008.
While serving in his many capacities at these banks, Charles took great pride in being a devoted and loving family man. He married the former Glenda Marie Gayle of Gastonia in 1956, and enjoyed a 44 year marriage until her passing in November, 2000. They were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Cindy and Robin, who ironically, along with Robin's son Brian, followed Charles into banking careers of their own. In addition to his parents, and first wife, his daughter Cindy and a brother Gorman Hugh Snipes predecease him.
Charles' devotion to his spiritual journey was an integral part of his life. As a charter member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, he helped to guide and grow the church into the vibrant congregation that it is today. It was also at St. Luke's he met a fellow church member, Katherine Barringer, who became his wife in 2004, allowed him to welcome her family into his life, and continue their spiritual journey together. They also enjoyed travelling and spending time at the beach during his retirement.
After his family, church and banking, Charles' next love was his alma mater, Lenoir Rhyne University. He loved LR in all aspects, academically, athletically, and spiritually. He took great pride in seeing the school grow in all aspects, including seeing his granddaughter Laura graduate from Lenoir Rhyne while he was still Chairman of the Board and was given the wonderful feeling of presenting her with her diploma. The following year it was Charles' turn to be awarded a degree, this time an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014.Charles contributed a great amount of time to many organizations in the community, but the one that factored most in his heart was the Hickory Rotary Club. Charles had perfect attendance for an extraordinary 50 years, and greatly enjoyed the fellowship it provided both in Hickory and abroad when he made up a missed meeting.
Charles is survived by his wife Katherine of the home, daughter Robin Snipes Hager (Michael) of Greensboro, and son in law Bill Rendleman of Clemmons. He is also survived by grandchildren Grace Rendleman(Scott Emmers) of Cary, Katherine Rendleman of Greensboro (who celebrated the same birthday with her grandfather), John Charles Rendleman of Chapel Hill, Brian Hager(Katie) of Greensboro, Laura Hager Keyser (Zachary) of Martinsville, Virginia, and great grandson Henry O'Keeffe Hager. He is also survived by a sister Betty Jewel of Raleigh. His loving family members of the Fann family include children Sabrina Fann McClamrock (Kim) and James Russell Fann both of Hickory, grandchildren Matthew Soots, Adam McClamrock (Charlene), Nikkie McClamrock, and James Lee Fann, all of Hickory, and Kaitlyn Fann of New York City. He is also survived by special friend Rachel Miller of Statesboro, Georgia.
There will be a receiving of friends on Wednesday February 27, 2019 at Bass Smith Funeral Home from 6:00 to 8:30. A public graveside service will be held at Oakwood Cemetery at noon on Thursday February 28, 2019, followed by a memorial service at St. Luke's Methodist Church at 1 o'clock. The family will greet friends in the Family Life Center after the service. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Hickory Rotary Club, the St. Luke's Joy Class, and Charles and Katherine's Supper Club.
Memorials may be made to: St. Luke's UMC Endowment Fund, 52 16th Avenue, NW, Hickory, North Carolina 28601 or Charles M. Snipes School of Business and Economics, Lenoir Rhyne University, LR Box 7546, Hickory, North Carolina 28603 or CVCC Foundation Endowment c/o Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 Highway 70, SE, Hickory, North Carolina 28602 or a charity of one’s choice.
Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Charles Melton Snipes.