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Funeral services set for Trooper Joe Snipes

Trooper Joe Snipes Trooper Joe Snipes

JASPER, TN (WRCB)- Funeral services will be held today, Sunday Sept. 4 for Tennessee State Trooper Joe Snipes.  Snipes died Thursday in Bradley County in a traffic accident.  Here is the obituary information from Tate Funeral Home in Jasper:

Joe Snipes Jr., 47, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The son of Velma Griffith Snipes and the late Joe Snipes Sr., he was a 25 year employee of the State of Tennessee, and a faithful friend and comrade to all who knew and loved him.  He served as a Tennessee State Trooper in the 2nd District (Bradley County Area) for the last several years.

Joe was a graduate of Marion County High School and was active with the Marion County Warriors Football Team. He served as a member of the Jasper Fire Department.He began his state work with the Tennessee Public Service Commission on September 1, 1986. He was a 1987 graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy and attended Chattanooga State, Cleveland State, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was certified in International Police Training. Joe and his wife, Sheila, were active members of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Club chapter Tennessee VII.  He was active in the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 16 for many years and had served as a past president.

Survivors include his wife, Sheila Snipes; step-daughters, Trista Cross and Jasmine (Carl) Warfield; mother, Velma Griffith Snipes; sisters, Ann Walker, Pat (Les) Price, and Sally (Roby) Brown; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Kenneth and Sandra Roark; step-grandchildren, Tyler, Khloe, Elizabeth, and Anthony; brother-in-law, Bryan Roark; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. CDT today, Sept. 4, 2011, at Marion County High School, 160 Ridley Drive, Jasper, TN 37347. The Rev. J.R. Bridgeman will officiate the service. Interment will immediately follow the ceremony at Lee Cemetery, McDonald, Tenn., with full honors provided by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made in honor of Joe Snipes to the Blue Knights of Tennessee Christmas Childrens Fund in care of Tate Funeral Home, P.O. Box 640 Jasper, TN 37347. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.tatefh.com. Arrangements are by Tate Funeral Home, Jasper, Tenn., 423-942-9500.

PREVIOUS STORY FROM FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2:

BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)  --  With heavy hearts law enforcement officers, lawmakers and residents are remembering the life of a long-time Tennessee State Trooper.

THP held a moment of silence for Trooper, Joe Snipes, Friday at 9:57 a.m.  Snipes' badge number is 957. 

Snipes died on Pleasant Grove Road in Bradley County Thursday, when the motorcycle he and his wife were riding crashed into a truck.

Snipes' wife was hurt, but is expected to be ok.  She went straight into surgery when she arrived at Erlanger.  Family members say she's scheduled for at least one more surgery.   

Sheila Snipes and her husband had only been married for a year and a half.  Family members say they were the love of each other's lives.

"All units stand-by for a moment of silence," says the THP dispatcher. 

It's 9:56 a.m. and state troopers are gathered inside the dispatch room at THP headquarters on Cummings Highway. 

The dispatch lines go quiet at 9:57 a.m. It's only a moment, but an incredibly difficult one for these people.

"He was one of the good guys," says family member, Karen Albritton. 

In Cleveland Albritton anxiously waits to finish work so she can visit her cousin, Sheila, at Erlanger. 

"I need to know she's okay," she says, with tears in her eyes. 

On Facebook Snipes' kids give updates throughout the day saying, "Mom is out of surgery and doing okay.  We love and miss you Joe."

"As far as we know he was on his way to Chattanooga for a meeting," says Albritton. 

Around 5 p.m. Thursday, the off duty trooper and his wife were driving on Pleasant Grove Road when they collided with a Bradley County Road truck.  The vehicles rounded a curve headed opposite directions. 

"We didn't realize how special Joe was until we attended their wedding," says Albritton of Sheila and Joe's Wedding day. 

The two haven't been married very long, but Albritton says they were inseparable.

"We just felt at peace with him in the family," she says.

The cousin says she can't understand why the trooper's life is over, when the couple were just beginning their lives together.

"It's just horrible," Albritton says. 

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is handling the crash investigation.  They believe rain could have contributed to the accident.  Investigators say speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors.  Both victims were wearing helmets.

 

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