Col. William H. Sneeder
CHARLOTTE, N.C. • Colonel William Harrison Sneeder passed away gently Monday morning, March 30, 2020, to join his wife Joanne (Golamis) of 61 years at Heaven’s Gate.
Born and raised in Millersburg, Pa., he was the son of the late Joseph E. Sneeder and M. Alice (Lebo) Zimmerman.
Bill spent much of his time on the Lebo family dairy farm when he wasn’t playing football, running track or playing drums in the marching band.
He graduated from Millersburg High School in 1954 and enrolled in ROTC at Syracuse University, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts (architectural interior design) degree in 1958. After receiving his commission as an Air Force 2nd lieutenant, he set out on the air traffic control career path. Assignments as an air traffic control officer included Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan and McGuire AFB, N.J., as well as a year tour in 1965 as a 7th Air Force staff officer (Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam). Except for a tour as a Minuteman Missile Combat Crew commander (Ellsworth AFB, S.D.), he remained in the air traffic control field throughout his career.
Proudly serving as a Vietnam vet and on the frontlines at the height of the Cold War, he completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and was promoted to colonel in 1979. In turn, Col. Sneeder was Pacific Air Forces Command Air Traffic Control staff officer (Hickham AFB, Hawaii), the AF Communications command chief of the inspector general’s inspection team (Richard-Gebaur, MO), commander of the 1946th Communications Squadron (Templehof, Berlin, Germany), AF Communications Command Airlift Communications Division deputy chief of staff (Scott AFB, Ill.), USAF in Europe command director for Air Traffic Services/Airspace Management in addition to director communication operations and computer systems (Ramstein AB, Germany), and Air Combat Command Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Traffic Services (Langley AFB, Va.). He held the Master Air Traffic Control and Senior Missile Operations badges, and was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service medal (two oak leaf clusters), AF Commendation medal, National Defense Service medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with palm), and the Vietnam Service and Campaign medals.
Bill and his wife, Joanne, retired from the Air Force in 1988 setting up “permanent” quarters in Williamsport, Pa. Bill kept busy as an air traffic control systems consultant in control tower and radar systems modernization for U.S. and allied customers, adviser to the Loyalsock school board, Red Cross volunteer and member the local Lions Club.
Active in his church, he helped design and build the Holy Cross Orthodox Church and fellowship hall.
Bill spent his final five years with Joanne in Charlotte, N.C., near his daughter and her family.
Col. Sneeder is survived by their children Col. William H. Sneeder, Jr. (USAF, ret) and his wife Jeanne M. Keffer, Dianna (Sanders) and her husband Walter “Sandy” M. Sanders IV, and Col. Michael C. Sneeder (USAF, ret) and his wife Alexandra M. (Paros) Sneeder; his brother Donald “Sam” E. Sneeder; and five grandchildren: Stephanie J. (Sanders) LoPresto, Walter “Mac” M. Sanders V, Christopher J. Sneeder, Efstathios V. Sneeder and Constantine P. Sneeder.
In loving memory, immediate family held funeral service prayers April 8, 2020, with interment at Wildwood Cemetery supported by Holy Cross Orthodox Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his memory to Holy Cross Orthodox Church, 1775 Holy Cross Lane, Williamsport, PA.
Crouse Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Please visit crousefuneralhome.com to sign a register or share a memory.
This is a paid obituary