Arthur Louis Snell

August 19, 1927March 9, 2021

1927 – 2021

Arthur Louis Snell, 93, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2021, in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Art, as he was known to friends and family, was born August 19, 1927 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Vincent Adelan Snell and Suzanne Dillon Snell.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joy Brittingham Snell, his six children, Edward John Snell, Carol Jean Goodlett, Susan Snell Maldonado, Christopher Dillon Snell, Steven Brittingham Snell and Michael Tad Snell, and by his 12 grandchildren Sophia, Trevor, Kristin, Rene, Kaiden, Logan, Dillon, Tori, Scott, Gail, Chase, and Travis. Art was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Nancy Snell Mead, and his brothers, Col. Dillon Snell, and Lt. Col. Robert Snell.

Art was raised in Minnesota, where he and his brothers loved to hunt, hike, and explore the wilderness. Those early years formed Art’s character and his love for ranches, hunting, and the mountains. Art married Joy in San Antonio, Texas, where they lived and raised all six children. Art was a member of the San Antonio German Club and the Order of the Alamo. He was President of V.A. Snell & Company, which at the time was the largest veterinary pharmaceutical distribution center in the United States. In the 1960s, Art was credited with inventing the ear tag for cattle, called the Lone Star Tag, and formed his manufacturing company, called Y-Tex Corporation, in Cody, Wyoming, where he loved to hunt.

Art went on to form Snell Power Fence, which introduced high power electric fencing, and the Savory Rotational Grazing methods to North America. He also introduced the Tru-Test Scales Electronic Weighing Systems for livestock to the U.S. During this time, Art and Joy formed Snell Arabians, one of the top Arabian Horse Farms in the US. In the 1990s, Art founded Horseshoe Bay One Real Estate with his partner Diana Wright, which Diana still operates today, along with Ted Burdgett as Broker. Art was a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word.

Art attended Purdue University, where he played football and forever ruined his knees. Both were replaced in the late ’70s, much to Art’s delight. After college, Art served in the South Pacific during WWII as a Navy Corpsman on the Merchant Marine ship, the SS Josiah Royce. After the war, Art moved to Montana, where he rode rodeo and worked as a cowboy for the 4K Ranch in Fishtail, Montana. It was there that he met Babe Ruth. Babe took a liking to Art that summer, which resulted in Art receiving an autographed baseball from The Great Bambino himself.

Art was known as "The Big Bear” by his friends. His tall stature, commanding presence, and humorous nature made him a natural focal point whenever he walked into a room. His booming voice could intimidate even the best of us, but Art had a huge heart, and he thrived on helping people succeed in life. Art had thousands of employees between his many business ventures, mentoring many of them as they first started out in life. Art was a great teacher. Whether training salespeople, helping set up companies, educating ranchers on new, modern techniques, or just helping his children, Art loved to teach and help anytime he could. Art touched many lives with his warmth, his engaging stories, and his vast interests. He will be remembered as a special man and loyal friend. He was a cowboy, a soldier, an entrepreneur, a marksman, a hunter, a teacher, a mentor, a father, a loving husband, and, most of all, a thoughtful and caring man. We will all miss him terribly.

Special thanks go to the many caring and attentive doctors and nurses from Kindred Hospice of Georgetown, especially Martha, Lucy, Debbie, Kim and Sandra. We cannot thank you all enough for all your amazing care.

The family also extends their appreciation to Wally and Colleen Naftzger for their help and friendship, and to all the Visiting Angels caregivers. We are forever indebted to all of the kind staff and caregivers who assisted Art and our family. Because of all of you, Art enjoyed a quiet and independent life in his final years at his home in Horseshoe Bay, Tx.

A memorial service will be held in Horseshoe Bay, Texas at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in tribute to the NRA.

The NRA Foundation 11250 Waples Mill Rd Fairfax, VA 22030


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Arthur Louis Snell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Melissa Meador

March 16, 2021

I was one of Mr. Snells first caregivers from Visiting Angels. He definitely made a lasting impression. I have often wondered how he and Mrs. Joy have been. He was no nonsense but extremely caring. I attempted to make a chocolate cake from scratch on my first day. It was a disaster. And Mr. Art tried to let me think it was good. Then later informed me how bad it actually was. He was always telling me to sit and relax when I was trying to find something to do. I loved to listen to him tell stories from his life. God definitely gained a wonderful angel and I know I the world is less entertaining without him.

With lots of love and prayers,

Melissa Meador

Christine Snell

March 12, 2021

Joy and Family, we are sad to hear of Art's passing. He sure did lead an extraordinary life and one you all can be so proud of. Although it's been a while since we visited, it was always a pleasure to be in his company. Hope to see you all at his Memorial. May he Rest in Peace.

With Love and Sympathy,
Chris Snell & Family

Stephen Newbern

March 12, 2021

Absolutely without a doubt Heaven is even a better place now with Art there!

Stephen Newbern

Ann McNeil

March 11, 2021

Aunt Joy: Sending you and my cousins lots of love and sympathy. Uncle Art was larger than life in so many ways, and our memories of him will endure. In these last several years, I loved hearing his voice, which sounded so much like my Dad's -- and he was always curious about what we were all up to -- and so proud of what you and your kids were doing. Much much love, Annie...on behalf of Gary, Sam, Miriam, Ben and Blair xoxox

Robert Snell

March 10, 2021

Art was my larger than life Uncle. The time spent with family at his Lake LBJ Home and his Jones Maltsberger ranch are amongst the sharpest of my pre-teen years. He was the best host — at his ranch he made sure you did “ranch things”. And at Lake LBJ he made sure you had as much fun as possible -- with a wee bit of either mischief or danger — running around the house or on the water. Incredible memories. He was the perfect Texas businessman gentlemen rancher father husband and uncle. Love to you Joy and to your wonderful crew.

Suzanne Mead Feldmann

March 10, 2021

Dear Aunt Joy, John, Jeannie, Susie, Chris, Steven and Tad: you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Uncle Art lived a very full life... and I have so many wonderful memories of him. I hope that all of the great stories of his well-lived life bring you comfort and peace in the coming days. We look forward to celebrating his life with all of you when the time comes.

All our love,
Suzie, Kirk, Anne Marie and Will, and Max