County Historical Society Gala
year's event to honor Snell,
a 'true champion of history'
era theme will liven the party atmosphere
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (September 2006) Kim
Snell was a true champion at a young age, said Oldham County Historical
Society President Bob Martin about his predecessor. Earlier this year
Martin realized he had some big shoes to fill as he tried to step into
the void left behind after Snells sudden death last fall.
by Don Ward
late Kim Snell
emceed this event in
2004 when it was
held in Louisville.
Snell will posthumously receive the J. Chilton Barnett
Champion of Oldham County History award at the historical societys
annual Gala on September 29. Held at the Oldham County History Center
in La Grange, the theme for this years Gala is All That
It will be a celebration of Kims life, said Karen
Eldridge, chairperson of the Gala. To me he was an amazing man.
He was passionate about history. Eldridge said she was astonished
at the way Snell was willing to work and promote Oldham County when
it was not his hometown.
Roy Kimberly Snell was born on May 18, 1951, in Texas. He earned a bachelors
degree in history from the University of Texas, a masters degree
in history from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor from the
University of Texas Law School.
During the 1990s, Snell served as assistant Commonwealths Attorney
for Oldham, Trimble and Henry counties. In 1999, he was elected chief
prosecutor in Kentuckys 12th Judicial Circuit. He was a partner
in the Louisville office of Stites and Harbison, then a partner in the
law firm he co-founded in 1990 known as Croley, Moore and Snell.
Snell gave back many times over to his adopted state of Kentucky and
the Oldham County community. He served as president of the board of
directors for the Oldham County Historical Society and held a seat on
the board of directors for Yew Dell Gardens.
In February 2005, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was 53
years old and walked 4 1/2 miles each day on his treadmill. Cancer at
his age seemed impossible.
In an article titled, The Obligation of the Cured: A Cancer Survivor
Speaks Out, published in "Your View" by the Louisville
Courier-Journal on Aug. 17, 2005, Snell wrote about Lance Armstrongs
battle with cancer. Armstrong recovered and won the Tour de France six
Snell admired such courage and bought a copy of Armstrongs book,
Its Not About the Bike. It gave him the strength he
needed to tackle chemo and radiation treatments.
In this same article, Snell wrote about his own challenge. I have
learned valuable insights about pain, fear and recovery that will strengthen
me in my life and work, he wrote.
Snell had also battled prostate cancer before succumbing to a stroke
on Nov. 6, 2005. For those who didnt know him, He would
have surprised you, said Martin. Most people think of lawyers
as stuffy, but Roy had a wonderful sense of humor.
Martin said Snell became interested in the community of Oldham County
after moving there from Texas, and the people got to know him well.
He took on the personal project of getting involved in the community.
He kept the historical society on a healthy footing, said
We were very fortunate to have an individual of his caliber in
the county, said Eldridge. And fortunate to have so many
people willing to save our heritage in the county.
Accepting this award for Snell will be his wife of 25 years, Virginia
Hamilton Snell, and his parents, Roy D. and Sadie Z. Snell. Not enough
nice things can be said about Snell before the evening will run out.
In addition to Eldridge, the event will also have an honorary chair,
Steve Norton, of The Bank of Oldham County. Katie and the Cruisers will
provide music for the Roaring 1920s-style evening.
There will also be a catered dinner, an open bar and live and silent
auctions under the Gala Tent on the grounds of the history center. Proceeds
go to the historical societys general operating fund.
Due to its popularity, the Amos G. Mount Civil War Letters exhibit has
been extended at the history center until Oct. 14. Mount was an Oldham
County native and Union soldier in Company B of the 6th Kentucky Volunteer
Infantry U.S. during the Civil War.
Also on display during this time will be the Smithsonian exhibition,
Key Ingredients: America by Food. Patrons of the Gala will
be able to tour both exhibits.
For more information on the Gala, contact
Nancy Theiss at (502) 222-0826.
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