|Margaret was born on May 27, 1919 in Lakeland, Florida as the third child of Nora Key and Wilbur Fiske Johnson. She attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia where she was active in the United Methodist Student Movement and the Student YWCA. While working at Blue Ridge during the summer, she met social workers and YWCA staff who inspired her to enter that field. She served as the High School Program Director at Chattanooga, TN and as Camp Director in Louisville, KY., before coming to New Orleans for an MSW degree at Tulane School of Social Work. The Rev. James Ailor recruited her as the adoptions worker for the United Methodist Home-Hospital shortly after her graduation. She volunteered to serve in a summer camp of which Clarence H. Snelling was the director. After two years of professional association, he finally asked for a date. They were engaged after the third date and married in May of 1953.
During his tenure as pastor of the Eighth Street Methodist Church and as Campus Minister at Tulane, she worked part-time at the Jewish Community Center. When her husband received a Danforth Grant to attend Drew University, she directed the Girl Scout Camp for Morris County, New Jersey and taught neurologically impaired children in Boonton Township.
Dr. Snelling was appointed to the faculty of the Iliff School of Theology in 1964. She became a Group Worker in the Department of Social Services in Denver, establishing the first Parenting Classes in the country for court-referred parents in child abuse situations. After 20 years with the Department, she retired to follow her interest in art, weaving, and writing. She served on the Board of Directors of the Child Care Center of their local United Methodist Church and two terms on the Board of the YWCA of Metropolitan Denver.
Mrs. Snelling is survived by her husband, Dr. Clarence H. Snelling, Jr., a retiring member of the Louisiana Annual Conference; two sons, Dr. David F. Snelling of Leichester, England and Benjamin K. Snelling of Denver; one daughter, Mrs. Claire Ruth Nord, a student at the Iliff School of Theology; and three grandchildren.
She died on December 12, 1992 after suffering a cardiac arrest while driving to a meeting in Denver. Several years ago, Dr. and Mrs. Snelling gave a planned gift of $100,000 to Iliff for its scholarship program and for faculty development. The school has now named that endowment the Margaret Johnson and Clarence Haas Snelling Scholarship Fund.
In 1985, the Louisiana Annual Conference Members who are alumni of Iliff established the Clarence H. Snelling-Louisiana Scholarship Fund. Memorial gifts from Louisiana friends and retirement recognition gifts in honor of her husband have been added to that fund and its name also changed to the Margaret and Clarence Snelling Louisiana Scholarship Fund.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1993; p. 236 By Dr. Clarence H. Snelling, Jr|