Wayne Paul Snoozy

January 13, 1938 ~ July 16, 2022 (age 84)


Wayne Paul Snoozy was born in Rapid City, South Dakota on January 13, 1938. In order to understand the life of a man, you need to understand the place he came from. The windswept plains of the Dakotas make one realize the insignificance of man and the awe-inspiring beauty of God. They also make a man appreciate all those who made a life for themselves in the vast openness, exquisiteness and harshness of the Plains. Wayne grew up in Belle Fourche, South Dakota with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and parents and siblings and all the joys and heartache that are inherent in a large family. If you want to know where his deep and abiding Faith came from and his ability to see the goodness in everyone, look no farther than the extended clan of Dorothy Ginsbach, his mother, and Ralph “Jim” Snoozy, his father, and the tiny town with the wide streets of Belle Fourche.

Wayne joined the Marine Corp after graduating from High School in 1956. He served for two years at 29 Palms in southern California. While in the Marines, Wayne was exposed to radiation during the testing of atomic bombs. On his return to South Dakota, he became very seriously ill. The effects of the exposure stayed with him for the rest of his life and ultimately led to his death.

He attended college at South Dakota State, majoring in chemistry and from 1959-1962, he went to Black Hills Teacher College where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Education. To help pay his way through college he worked for American Collite company as a chemist.

On August 23, 1961, he married the love of his life Sharon Lyons. By 1963, after the birth of their first daughter they decided to move to Klamath Falls and teach school for KCSD. There are some people who find their niche in life and live it. Wayne found his passion in education. He truly felt blessed to be able to teach, coach, and live with the people of Klamath County.

His first job was in Bly, Oregon where he became a teacher and a coach. He was named the “Coach Who Did the Most With the Least” because the team only had 7 players. Wayne went on to teach and coach at Chiloquin High School and taught at Altamont Junior High. In 1971 Wayne became a principal for Altamont Elementary School. He remained at the job for over 30 years.

The organizations that Wayne took a personal interest in were those that helped the kids of Klamath Falls and the American Cancer Society. The Sagebrush Rendezvous, an art show that had its beginning over a drink of coffee with friends and became Wayne’s chief charitable contribution for the community. By holding the Art Show for thirty years, he not only raised over a million dollars for the community, but gave a venue to artists throughout Klamath County, Oregon, and the United States. In 1987, he received the Favell Museum Western Heritage Award along with the artist Bev Doolittle in recognition of his contribution to the Arts. He thrived when he knew he was raising money for the Special Olympics, the kids and teachers at Altamont, and the American Cancer Society. He had a core group of very exceptional friends and family that helped him with the Rendezvous. He also helped support the Friends of Klamath Falls, an organization that helps the youth in Klamath Falls. Wayne was a tireless advocate for the children of Klamath County. In 1977, the Superintendent of Education in Oregon appointed him to the Child Development Specialist Advisory Committee. His testimony to the Oregon House and Senate in 1991 became instrumental in starting the Breakfast Program for the children of Oregon. For all of his hard work and dedication, he received the National Principal Award and in 1990, traveled to Washington DC and had a reception at the White House with all of the honorees. In 2017, he was honored to receive the United Way Lifetime Achievement Award.

Klamath Falls was a great place to raise a family and one reason Wayne and Sharon chose it to start their teaching careers. Dad and Mom had five children and mere words cannot convey the love and laughter that filled our house almost every day of our lives. Our Dad loved us, and his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren and was always laughing and making jokes. He taught us to never take life too seriously, to have fun, to help others, and to work hard. He extended his philosophy of life not by words, but by actions.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Kathleen, two brothers and one sister. He is survived by his wife of 61 years Sharon, his daughter’s, Kathleen's (Dave) 4 children, his son, Shawn (Jennifer) and their 7 children, his daughter Dee Dee (Charlie) and their 4 daughters, his son, Dennis, and his 3 children, and his daughter, Mary (Brian) and their son. He was blessed with 19 great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces and their children. He is also survived by his remaining brothers, Chuck (Julie), Mike (Barb) and Eldon.

Services will be at St. Pius X Catholic Church, on Friday, July 22, with Holy Rosary at 10:30 AM, and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00.  A reception will follow.  Burial will occur at 1:30 PM, at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of Children, or to Catholic Charities.

Memorial Tree
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Recitation of the Rosary
July 22, 2022

10:30 AM
St. Pius X Cath­!olic Church (Oregon)

Mass of Christian Burial
July 22, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Pius X Cath­!olic Church (Oregon)

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