Lee “Snapper” Snapp, 72, of La Crosse, passed away suddenly on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at Mayo Clinic Health Systems of La Crosse.
Lee was born in La Crosse on May 7, 1941, to George W. and Geraldine M. (Kneifl) Snapp. He attended La Crosse schools and was a 1959 graduate of Aquinas High School. Lee attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for a short time before joining the Wisconsin National Guard. He then attended the Brown Institute in Minneapolis, where he received his degree in broadcasting. On July 1, 1967, Lee married Susanne Wittenberg in La Crosse.
Lee began his career in radio at WLCX, where from 1962 until 1972, he worked as an on-air personality and in sales. He was employed by the G. Heileman Brewery from 1972 until 1999, serving as City Sales Manager. Lee worked for the La Crosse River Rats indoor football team for the next two years and then was employed by WKBT Channel 8 as both a sales rep and sales manager from 2001 until his retirement in January of 2007.
Throughout his career, Lee was also involved with many community and civic organizations. He had been a member of the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau since its inception, serving on its Board of Advisors for many years. He served on several committees within the board and as the Board’s President five times, the last being in 2010. He was recently bestowed with an honorary life-time membership. Lee was also a past member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Fund for the Arts and Humanities; past director and chair of the Business Marketing Committee for the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce; served on fund raising committees for the Coulee Council on Addictions, Chileda, YMCA, and the Freedom Honor Flight; and held memberships in the Optimist Club, Kiwanis, Rotary, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Loyal Order of Moose and the Elks Club. He was also active in many other organizations such as La Crosse Crime Stoppers, New Orleans Saints task force, United Coulee Region, United Way, the Steamboat task force, Operation Bass/Red Man All American Bass Tournament, and the La Crosse Sports Commission.
Lee worked closely with the Riverfest Board for many years. He assisted with corporate sponsorships and with the beverage committee and served as Riverfest Commodore in 1988. He also served on the Oktoberfest Board, serving as its director and treasurer in the past.
Lee is survived by his wife, Sue; two daughters, Tami (Mark) Kornowski of Oconomowoc, Wis., and Heather Snapp of Tucson, Ariz.; a sister, Kathy (Jack) Niedfeldt of La Crosse; sisters-in-law, Mary Anne Snapp of La Crosse, Linda (Bob) Skaff-Ward of La Crosse, and Sally Wittenberg (Bob Dougherty) of La Crosse; brothers-in-law, Frank (Myrt) Wittenberg of Billings, Mont., and Dick (Sue) Wittenberg of Holmen; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, in 1999; his father, in 2008; and his brother, George “Bill” Snapp in 2003.
The family would like to extend their special thanks to Lee’s good friend, Larry Lee, for all of his help.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. The Rev. Robert Cook will officiate. Private family inurnment will take place at the St. Francis of Assisi Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 until 7 p.m. on Friday at Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services- La Crosse Chapel, located at 200 West Ave. S., and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Aquinas Catholic Schools for the Snapp Family Scholarship. Online condolences may be offered at www.schumacher-kish.com.