At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of SW Michigan
6955 West KL AVe
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
534 Woodside Drive
Battle Creek, MI
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Humble, modest, and kind are words which will help us remember the life of Arthur Snapper. He lived with great curiosity and passion for helping others. These qualities, combined with his technically oriented mind, proved to be an amazing asset to the community and his loved ones. We will truly miss Arthur's presence in our daily lives.
In the city of New York, an exciting celebration was happening in 1962. The lives of Arthur and Vivian (Bigotto) Snapper were about to change for the rest of time. Together, they joyfully welcomed the gift of their first son, Arthur Gregory. He was born on April 7th, 1962.
It was not long in Arthur's young life before the family moved to a home in the wooded area of Montvale, New Jersey. Once they were settled comfortably into their new surroundings, they adopted a German Shepherd named Tau Dee who influenced Arthur's lifetime love for animals. About four years later, Gary Alexander, Arthur's younger brother, joined the family.
Arthur and Gary enjoyed cars, fishing, and fireworks. The eastern part of the country was home for the Snapper family until 1971 when they decided to move to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their parents worked hard to provide the boys a good life. Art's father worked for Schering Drugs as head of the lab while his mother stayed home to cherish the time in the boys’ young lives.
When Arthur was not out and about exploring the world around him, he would eagerly await the broadcast of "Speed Racer" on television or look forward to his next little league game. All the while, he stayed true to his loving nature of animals caring for his dog, Chooi, who was actually the husky dog for which Portage Northern High School modeled their mascot.
As Arthur and Gary grew they had an interest in travel. They went to California and Arizona where they saw many popular sights. In addition, they enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Bermuda, and Brazil affording them the chance to experience alternate ways of life and diverse culture. Art would even go on to travel as far as Australia for a work conference.
Arthur's parents encouraged him to search out areas of interest for which he was curious. This hunger and fascination led him to HAM radios that opened up a whole new world of communication and knowledge. This, combined with his desire to help others, made a great pathway for Arthur's adulthood. The next logical step was for Art to earn his HAM radio license, which he did successfully and learned Morse Code as was required at the time.
Radio communication was not Arthur's only fascination. He continued to foster an appreciation for many new ideas as he matured but in his teens, he began to enjoy spotting the weather, especially harsh weather like tornadoes or blizzards. During the 1978 blizzard, Arthur was given the opportunity to assist the sheriff's office with handling emergency phone and radio calls; this was an amazingly big deal for his young age. This hooked his lifelong passion for continued volunteer work in emergency operations. After he graduated from high school, he attended Western Michigan University. About a year later, Arthur decided to go to work for his dad, instead, at State Systems, Inc. where he gained experience selling and distributing animal behavior data software which had been developed by his father. Together, he and his dad installed computer systems that ran the developed software.
Once Arthur had the confidence and knowledge needed, he and his friend started State Systems Radio which was a two-way communication company that sold and installed radios to local businesses and facilities including local hospitals, police and fire stations, and schools. Always dedicated to help in dire situations, Arthur was known to fix issues even in the middle of the night or on holidays to make sure that all systems were working correctly providing committed reliability. Because of his continued knowledge of radio communication, he was always well connected throughout the community.
In 2000, Lori Budnik won Arthur's heart because not only could she make him laugh, but she also had great knowledge of computers. She understood Arthur's unique and sensible humor and his need for reading the manuals for technical projects. The two had numerous adventures and created special memories on and off the water over the many years before they decided to marry. In 2015, the happy couple became Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Snapper. Lori forever captivated a special place in Art's heart. He was no stranger to the Internet, which provided an avenue for sharing his various passions and at the same time keeping him connected to the advances in technology. He built and maintained a website called lakemichiganfun.com which is dedicated to boating and the Great Lakes. The site allows viewers to find the webcams and weather maps to help boaters and sailors.
Never one to be stagnant in his desire to learn or be curious about the world around him even as an adult, Arthur looked for new ways to enjoy life. In his early forties, he added sailing to his passions. He sailed "Sabbatical" proudly, as she was a 27-foot Catalina which he docked in South Haven. He also proudly acquired a captain’s license. Soon, he began racing on Thursday evenings as part of the Legacy crew. Among the many sailing talents, Arthur had used his charting abilities to help the team with their successful races. Through his sailing and radio connections, he made a great circle of friends in his lifetime. There was a point that the museum in South Haven had boaters work with the Friends Good Will (FGW) boat to recreate a pirate scene to entertain kids and adults alike. Art and Lori dressed as pirates and Art really enjoyed trying to hide from the FGW to make a sneak attack. Art and his Legacy mate Jon, started “movie night on the sail” where friends from the lake would join them to watch Captain Ron, Castaway, Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, and lastly, The Finest Hours. Art liked to tell people they had the first film festival on the lake.
Lori and Art also spent time in the British Virgin Islands doing a bareboat charter two years in a row. Art was happy to get to Anegada, where it took special skills to get to the low lying coral island. The couple enjoyed their time at many beautiful destinations including the self-serve bar at Cow Wreck Beach where they enjoyed Art’s favorite drink, the Soggy Dollar Bar, where you swim from your boat to the bar (hence soggy dollar), Sandy Spit place where the Corona commercials are filmed, Willy T floating bar where you would dinghy to the boat, Saba rock restaurant where they enjoyed dinner on the small island that housed both the restaurant and the resort, and the Baths, a natural wonder, that are huge boulders that you explore like caves.
It only made sense that with his love for technology, the weather, and the water he developed an interest in capturing it all on film. He loved photography and spent time creating beautiful images using sunsets, sailboats, and the weather amongst many other parts of the environment surrounding him. One of his favorite photographs was of a water spout which combined his love for weather, the lake, and still imagery. Many of these photographs have been left behind as artifacts of Arthur's love.
Arthur could always be counted on to help out when he was needed. He preferred to sustain the important roles, getting things done, but he always did this with modesty. He was a behind the scenes kind of guy and never wanted to draw attention to himself. Art's legacy is a lesson for all to realize that great accomplishments can be quietly and humbly celebrated just the same, and equal satisfaction can gleam without all the glory.
It is with great sadness the news of Arthur's death is shared. After 55 years of life, he passed away on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at Rose Arbor Hospice. We will hold the memories we shared with Arthur close to our hearts, and we will never forget him.
Members of his family include his wife Lori, his mother Vivian, his brother Gary (Nicole) and several other family members. He also leaves behind his beloved cat, Nutmeg. He was preceded in death by his Father Arthur Snapper and his Aunt Joan Heymann.
Visit with family and friends on Thursday, July 6th from 4-7pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where services will be held Friday, July 7th at 12 noon. A lunch will take place immediately following the service in the Life Story Center.
Please visit Art’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or the SPCA of Southwest Michigan or ROAR.