A Life Lived: Mike Snodgrass had many hobbies — flowers, cars, reading

Published 8:08 am Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Mike Snodgrass was a quiet guy, who was always busy. He could be found running errands for others, growing flowers, which he often shared with friends, reading a good book, or shopping with his wife.

Mike, who died May 9 at the age of 74, had a lot of interests. In recent years he enjoyed gathering seeds and seed pods from flowers and plants — a hobby begun when Randall Hutchins gave him a hyacinth plant.  “Mike did a lot of reading and researched the hyacinth plant. He saved the seed each year  and would plant them in small trays until they were big enough to plant outside. He spent many hours caring for the hyacinths, which he planted along the garden fence. He was especially proud of his hyacinths, which he often shared with others,” said his wife, Emma Rose. Mike also grew calla lilies, which he shared with friends.

Flowers were just one of Mike’s many interests. He enjoyed motorcycles and automobiles. Mike was a member of the Porsche Automotive Club and had his own Porsche. “It stayed covered up in the garage more than he drove it. However, we did drive it on a lot of trips, especially to vacation spots,” said Emma Rose. “We enjoyed going to the beach, and had visited Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, and Hilton Head numerous time. Mike enjoyed the beach and the mountains. He especially enjoyed visiting the waterfalls at the Highlands in N.C., and we enjoyed shopping trips to Greenville, S.C.,” Emma Rose shared.

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One of his favorite places to visit was the car show at the BMW Plant in Greenville, S.C. “It was a different type of car show. It featured vintage, classic, and antique cars from Europe’s past and present, and Mike especially enjoyed seeing those cars,” his wife said.

Mike also enjoyed target shooting with friends and in his spare time liked to read, especially historical novels and things about the military.

His favorite holiday was Christmas. “He especially enjoyed Christmas decorations and lights,” said Emma Rose.

“While he was a quiet person and often stayed in the background at most events, Mike was a witty person and had a light sense of humor. He was a lot of fun, especially when he was around people he knew well. He was also a very tenderhearted person. Had Mike had his way, we would have taken in every stray dog and cat that showed up in the neighborhood. Some of our better pets were strays that Mike took in and nurtured,” Emma Rose shared with a quiet chuckle.

The couple were married 50 years last September. “We had a good marriage. Mike was a very giving and loving person. He was a long-time member of Elizabethton Church of Christ. He began attending the church before we got married, and it was an important part of his life,” his wife said.

Mike’s interests were many — flowers, people, cars, motorcycles, and even Lionel trains. He had a collection but had sold many of them in recent years as he had trucks and toys from his childhood.

Mike had worked at North American Rayon, Bristol Metals, and had spent the last 36 of his working years at Tennessee Eastman.

He had also served in the Tennessee National Guard.

We knew Mike from his stopping in at the newspaper office to share photos of his flowers or to suggest a story idea. He was always very kind and a welcomed visitor.

It has been said there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. Mike Snodgrass did that every day. He did it by running an errand for someone, sharing a flower or a smile, and most often, a kind word. Mike Snodgrass never made a lot of noise and was seldom in the limelight, but you knew he was there by the little things he did every day for those around him.

The world could use a lot more Mike Snodgrasses.