Betty Laverne Sniffin, age 96, died July 15, 2020, in Broomfield, CO, of complications from COVID-19. Betty Brockmeyer was born on April 16, 1924, in Sparta, IL, to William and Ella (Bradley) Brockmeyer. She grew up in Maynard and Oelwein, IA, and attended schools there.
On May 8, 1942, Betty married Thomas David Sniffin at Camp Claiborne Army Base in Louisiana. Tom was then stationed in Iran for over two years during WWII. The couple raised their 11 children in Wadena, IA. They later moved to Lander, WY, in 1978, and finally retired to Lafayette, CO, in 1991.
She is survived by her 11 children: Thomas (Olivia) Sniffin, Jr., Columbia SC; William (Nancy) Sniffin, Lander, WY; John Sniffin, Wadena, IA; Patrick (Mary Jo) Sniffin, Broomfield, CO; Susan (Daniel) Kinneman, Riverton, WY; James (Laura) Sniffin, Cedar Falls, IA; Mary Beth (Steven) Smith, Dundee, IA; Daniel Sniffin, West Des Moines, IA; Jerald (Tiena) Sniffin, San Diego, CA; Ronald (Tamara) Sniffin, Cheyenne, WY; and Donald (Kathy) Sniffin,Niwot, CO. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 31 greatgrandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, sister-in-law LaVerleSniffin, and numerous other relatives. Betty’s beloved husband of 58 years, Tom, died on May 23, 2000, at age 81. She is also preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, Edward, Charles and LeRoyBrockmeyer, and many others.
Betty was blessed by the Catholic Faith in 1942 and was always active in church and volunteer work. She was a member of the Legion Auxiliary and a charter member of Chi Anedaw Women's Federated Club of Wadena. While raising her 11 children, she encouraged all her children to pursue secondary education. In fact, she studied herself to obtain her GED in 1970. She managed fabric stores in Wadena, IA, and Lander, WY. She and Tom also managed West Main Conoco in Lander until they retired.
Growing up during the Great Depression, Betty’s parents, who were deaf/mute, often depended on her to serve as their translator as she was very adept at sign language. Love for her family was always Betty’s guiding light throughout her life. Her home was her haven and she enjoyed entertaining, hosting large meals for family and friends, and celebrating every birthday and holiday. She loved to sing, sew. crochet, read books, and was a wonderful cook. Scrabble, cribbage, and poker were her games of choice. She and Tom often traveled to visit their children and families, and Betty continued to do so after he passed away. At the last Sniffin family reunion in 2018, Betty said, “You are all here on this earth because of Tom and me. I love you all.” All told, there are 90 individuals born or married into the family that was begun by Tom and Betty Sniffin. Betty will be greatly missed, not only by her adoring family, but also by so many others whose lives she touched with her warm smile and sparkling blue eyes, her great wit and intelligence, and most of all, her heartfelt kindness and concern for others. Per her request, Betty’s cremated remains will be buried next to Tom’s at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Wadena, IA, at a later date.
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