Luther M. Snavely

Published 8:52 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

Luther M. Snavely, Jr., 90, of The Villages, FL passed away on October 25, 2021 at The Villages Hospital in The Villages, FL. Luther was born on May 29, 1931 in Harlingen, Texas. He was the son of the late Luther Meeker and Ruby V. (Crockett) Snavely.

Luther is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rebecca Rodriguez Snavely; son, Luther M. Snavely, III (Susan Frasca); daughter, Kelly Jean Snavely (John Dingeldein); brother, W.R. Snavely (Shirley); brother in-law, Joe Ruffin; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

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He is preceded in death by his parents and his sisters: Mamie Moody (Walter), Vesta Mae Ruffin, and Ann Melaun (Marshall).

He is a graduate of Baylor University which he attended on a music scholarship. He earned a Master of Music degree from the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago in 1959. The University of Texas at Austin awarded Luther a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1971. While working towards the completion of his PhD at the University of Texas, he served as the Associate Director of Music for the Texas University Interscholastic League.

Luther served in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Fourth Army Band. He was honorably discharged from military service in 1955.

He was the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Notre Dame from 1987 to 2000. Prior to that, he was the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Mississippi from 1971 to 1987. Luther also had a distinguished career as a High School Band Director at McAllen High School in McAllen, Texas from 1958 to 1969. He began his career as a band director in 1955 by accepting a position as assistant band director in Harlingen, Texas. He was assistant band director in Harlingen for one year and then became junior high director for two years.

Luther and the bands he directed received countless awards during the course of his long and distinguished career. However, he was particularly proud of the prestigious Special Presidential Award for contributions to the university which he received during his tenure at Notre Dame as well as the Outstanding Teacher Award given to him by the University of Mississippi in 1976.

Luther loved playing golf, traveling, listening to music, reading, and watching college football.

He was a private, humble man who loved his family, friends, colleagues and students. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him well.

A private family memorial service is to be held at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL at a later time.