Cover photo for David Randolph Snelson's Obituary
David Randolph Snelson Profile Photo

David Randolph Snelson

June 1, 1935 — January 15, 2024


David Randolph Snelson

David Randolph Snelson, 88, was called home by his Lord and Savior on January 15, 2024 following a brief and unexpected illness.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Randolph Joseph Snelson and Elsie Collins Snelson Sumner.  He was also preceded in death by his wife, LaVada Snelson in 2014; brother, Alan Snelson and sisters, Golda Hendricks and Hazel Howell.


Raised in a loving home on Vandalia Avenue in West Asheville, David loved reminiscing and sharing about the wonderful memories of his childhood. He was a 1955 graduate of Emma High School.  He loved to laugh and had many funny stories to tell.  He enjoyed horseback riding, motorcycle riding with his motorcycle club and hunting with his friends.  During his years, he raised gardens and enjoyed his chickens, dogs and horses. David married the love of his life, LaVada Gosnell Snelson on Christmas day in 1955 and they remained deeply committed to each other during the 59 years together before her passing in 2014.  David and LaVada were lifelong residents of Buncombe County, members of Sunrise Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and active in their community.


He is survived by his brother, Philip Snelson (Ellen); daughters, Dennie Lane (Larry) of Lebanon, TN and Deborah Jones (Frank) and Deanna Burris of Asheville. Also surviving, ten grandchildren, Josh Morrell (Julie), Zeb Passmore (Michelle) and Chase Passmore (Ashley) all from TN; Maranda Sutton (John) of Candler, David Haney of Asheville and Chuck Haney (Annette) of Clyde, Autumn Snowden, Amber Nelson, Seth Buckner (Justine) and Bethany Coy (Jonathan) all of Asheville; three step grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; five step great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren along with many, much loved, nieces and nephews.


David was known for his big heart and fun-loving personality.  He retired from the Champion Paper Mill in 1997.  He had friends all over and enjoyed making new friends everywhere he went.  He was an avid fan of the UNC basketball team and would discuss “how the Tar Heels were looking for this year” with anyone at any time.  David’s memory will be cherished by those who knew and loved him. A Special mention to Dana Preston, Physician’s assistant for her love and care. 


A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Wells Chapel of Faith with Pastor Bill Higgins officiating.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 31 College Place, Asheville, NC 28801


The care of Mr. Snelson has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Candler.
To order memorial trees in memory of David Randolph Snelson, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 3, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Wells Chapel of Faith at Forest Lawn Memorial Park

1 Chapel of Faith Dr, Candler, NC 28715

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