THE HISTORIAN SPOTLIGHT | A CHAPTER MEMBER OF DISTINCTION
BY CINDY REED
I was recently approached by Past National Academy President Doug Muldoon who told me of an article he wrote for the Florida Chapter about a member of distinction who had passed away in 1999 but whose legacy endures. I offered to publish this recap in the National Associate magazine.
It occurred to me that each chapter can name one or more members who have made a difference in their history. It is my hope that there is someone in your chapter who is recording this chapter history for the future. If you would like to share that story with the entire membership, I would be honored to include it in my next article. Pictures are always appreciated to make that person’s story “come alive”.
Charles and Vita Snowden Scholarship History
Submitted by Doug Muldoon
1998 Florida President
2013 FBINAA President
Charles C. Snowden Sr. was a graduate of the 84th Session (11/5/1969) and was an active member of the Florida Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates. During his career as a sworn officer, he was a captain for the Gainesville Police Department until his retirement in 1981. He later worked for Alachua County Sheriff's Office until 1996.
Charlie was the Executive Secretary / Treasurer for the Florida Chapter of the FBINAA starting in 1978. He was the backbone of the Florida Chapter handling the day to day operations of the organization. He handled all the annual renewals for membership which was done in conjunction with the Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami FBI Field Offices. All communications were handled by mail in those days. We tend to forget the extra work and how labor intensive this was in the current electronic communications world we live in today. As an example, Charlie printed, folded and mailed out over 1000 envelopes to update each member, including the annual membership form and a newsletter from the incoming President and Charlie. Once the renewal was processed, he would then mail out the annual membership card from the Florida Chapter to each member. (Note from Doug: Does anyone still remember those days besides me?) Back in those days, a new member was also sent an official Florida FBINAA Chapter shirt which was Orange with Blue lettering. For those of you who are not familiar with those colors, they are the same colors as the University of Florida Gators. Apparently no coincidence that Charlie just happened to be a charter member and past president of both the Fightin' Gator Touchdown Club and the Gator Dugout Club. It appears he was able to combine two of his passions in one simple shirt that all the members of his chapter received.
I can recall that after my graduation in June 1988 from the 153rd Session I received a phone call from Charlie. He heard I wanted to get involved with the Chapter. He must have spoken with the incoming 1989 Chapter President Dale Croy, Chief Investigator with the Leon County State Attorney’s Office, as I was appointed as the fourth Area Representative. Prior to this appointment there were only three Area Representatives, one for each FBI Field Office area. Because of this appointment, I was fortunate to get to know and work with Charlie. I think I often gave him grief asking questions about why we do things the way we do or how can we do things differently, but he patiently handled all my questions. In 1994 I was elected as 3rd Vice President for the Florida Chapter thanks to this mentorship by Charlie.
During the annual Chapter Officers meeting held in early January 1998 at the FBI Academy, Charlie handed me an envelope stating that after 21 years of service, he was going to “retire” as the Executive Secretary Treasurer. I was stunned before finishing reading the entire letter. The “retirement” was to take place December 31, 1998. I breathed a sigh of relief at least for my term, but I had the thought: What we would do without Charlie leading the Florida FBINAA??? It was an honor when Charlie recommended that I apply for the position of Executive Secretary Treasurer. I recall Charlie laughing during my first conference as I made sure I had everything necessary for the annual business meeting, which consisted of many plastic tubs of “stuff”.
I found out later Charlie was dealing with medical issues he never spoke about. During the annual conference in 1999 Charlie and Vita Snowden were both recognized for their years of support and work on behalf of the FBINAA and the Florida Chapter specifically. The membership voted to make both Charlie and Vita life time members and to cover their attendance to all future Florida FBINAA conferences. Sadly, Charlie passed away shortly after on August 22, 1999 Sunday at North Florida Regional Medical Center at the age of 66 after a long illness. Survivors included his wife, Vita Parrish Snowden of Gainesville; two sons, Charles C. "Chuck" Snowden Jr. and Danny L. Snowden, both of Gainesville; two sisters, Margaret Youngblood and Linda King, both of Gainesville; a brother, W.C. "Buck" Snowden of Gainesville; and four grandchildren
Vita Snowden has remained a close dear friend of the entire Florida FBINAA. She has annually donated funds to the FBINAA Scholarship Fund which was dedicated to the memory of both Charlie and Vita Snowden. If you never met Vita, I encourage you to introduce yourself and thank her for her continued support of our Florida chapter.
I hope this short history of Charlie and Vita Snowden will make you appreciate what they have done and continue to do for our chapter and members.
Any suggestions about profiles, articles, local history, please contact me at Creed@fbinaa.org or CindyR45@comcast.net
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