Thomas Carlton Snell

OBIT-SnellAPTOS, CALIF. — Thomas Carlton Snell died unexpectedly in his home in Aptos, Calif., on Dec. 11, 2015, shortly after his 77th birthday. Tom was born Nov. 19, 1938, in Bar Harbor, to George D. and Rhoda (Carson) Snell. He was the eldest of three sons. Both parents, his brother Peter, and his second wife Mary Farquhar predeceased him. The principal tragedy of his life was losing his 5-year-old son Timothy to cancer in 1975. His son Christopher Snell; daughters Tamara and Sarah Childs; grandson Munro Kipp; and his brother Roy Snell survive him.

Tom received a BS degree in biology from Swarthmore College and an MS degree from Brown University. While at Swarthmore, he became a Quaker and met his first wife Julia Childs. Following graduate school he and Julia spent eight years teaching at The Meeting School, a small Quaker high school in Rindge, N.H. While at the Meeting School, their four children came into their lives; their sons by birth, their daughters by adoption. After leaving The Meeting School, Tom became a software developer. He eventually returned to Bar Harbor where he joined a small team at the Jackson Laboratory that developed the Encyclopedia of the Mouse Genome. This innovative point and click software, which was developed to aid geneticists in their work, shared second place for a Computerworld Smithsonian award for innovative scientific software.

While in Bar Harbor, Tom met Mary Farquhar who was born and raised in Southwest Harbor. They were married in the early 1990’s and he moved to her home in Aptos, Calif., where they shared a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of nature with hikes in a nearby redwood forest and walks on the beach near their home. Mary died at home on Aug. 27, 2015, following a long and debilitating decline.

A mid-May memorial service is being organized for their Mount Desert Island friends.


Know when to pay your respects.