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Doctor remembered for LV service

Dr. Marvin Snell was a lifelong member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren and served as the director of Student Health Services for the University of La Verne. He was known for his service and generous donations to the University. / file photo by Lauren Wooding

Dr. Marvin Snell was a lifelong member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren and served as the director of Student Health Services for the University of La Verne. He was known for his service and generous donations to the University. / file photo by Lauren Wooding

Monique Parra
Staff Writer

Dr. Marvin Snell, a longtime benefactor to the University of La Verne, died Feb. 6 at his home in La Verne after a struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 88.

Dr. Snell was born July 12, 1924, near Springfield, Ill. He began his college education at La Verne College, but then transferred to Manchester College in Indiana.

He finished medical school in Indiana and came back to California for his residency, returning to La Verne in 1958 as the University of La Verne physician, a position he held until 1996.

He also maintained a private practice in downtown La Verne on Bonita Avenue.

“Dr. Snell was a wonderful gift to the University,” said Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Alfred Clark.

In the 1970s Snell reunited with his high school sweetheart, Marie Shibuya, who, like Snell, was newly single with grown children; they soon married.

In 1996 Dr. Snell and his wife donated his medical building, now named the Dr. Marvin and Marie Snell Building, which houses the Office of Advancement.

Dr. Snell was a lifelong member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren.

As part of his work for the church he was a “Seagoing Cowboy,” who tended farm animals while overseas, that were delivered to areas in Europe after World War II.

In addition to donating a building to ULV, the Snells also made monetary donations to the University.

Dr. Snell was also a champion to the less fortunate locally. In 1985, he opened an urgent care clinic in Pomona.

Julia Wheeler and Robert Earhart of the Office of Advancement, who both knew Dr. Snell, described him as caring, passionate, strong and gentle.

“After making the announcement through social media (Feb. 6) we could see so many alumni were affected by his passing,” Alfred Magallanes, manager of alumni relations, said. “He was a very important person to our university because of how many alumni were truly affected by him.”

“When I found out Marvin had passed away, I called my dad who is an alumni from 1960,” Wheeler said.

Dr. Snell is survived by his wife of 35 years, Marie Shibuya Snell of La Verne; three children, Tim Snell of Porterville, Diane Offner of Placentia, Krista Singleton of Menifee; and two step-children, along with six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Feb. 23 at Hillcrest Retirement Community in La Verne.

Monique Parra can be reached at monique.parra@laverne.edu.

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