Coroner: Charles Snelling Committed Suicide

Charles Snelling died of a gunshot wound, but the cause of his wife's death is pending investigation, according to Lehigh County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Hoffman.


, well-known political activist and businessman, died from a gunshot wound. The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office ruled it a suicide.

The cause and manner of death for Snelling’s wife, Adrienne, is pending further investigation.

The brief press release from the coroner's office (attached) gave no more specific details. The couple, both 81, were found dead in their home at 1280 Church St., Fogelsville, on Thursday morning.

Adrienne suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

In a statement to local media Thursday, family members said Charles Snelling "could no longer bear to see the love of his life deteriorate further," choosing to end her life and then his own.

Charles Snelling was board chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority since 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him to serve on the authority board of directors. And he was a longtime Republican activist in the Lehigh Valley.

The Snellings are survived by five children and 11 grandchildren.

J. Drew Stefancin March 31, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Like bullies, malcontents and other overly aggressive, out-of-line weirdos I think people who feel this way (or at least claim to.. no one could ACTUALLY feel that way) just need to be ignored. People like me who engage them in debate automatically lose by responding to their outrageous opinions.
Anna Banana March 31, 2012 at 02:32 PM
As an Alzheimers caretaker (retired) on hearing of this, the feedback is soul wrenching. As one of 6 siblings, and the one living onsite w/ affected parents, every second is a year, every decision a crap shoot. When I wrote to my Dad's friends that " John (my Father) wasn't here any more", they thought he was dead, and found out later still breathing, but furious w/me. Still rethinking decisions I made, suffering I witnessed, while others stayed away. The triumphs were few, the love overwhelming, and the " is is ever going to come" ending only a beginning of new questions about meaning of anyone's journey here. Old soldiers never die, they just fade away, are lyrics from a WWII song, which I just comprehend.
Jennifer Moyer March 31, 2012 at 08:59 PM
My wife had a cat she loved so much that she could not come to terms with killing the cat. I watched the cat die a prolonged and obviously painful death over the course of weeks. Later my wife said she made a mistake and would not have been so cruel to the cat if she realized the agony she was putting the cat through. Of course, there is no comparison to any person living or dead in my very true story.
J. Drew Stefancin April 01, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Dean Bear..... that opinion is borderline psychotic.
Jan McNair April 01, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I don’t usually comment on a news story, but after reading the opinions here, I feel moved to do so. I have walked through the agony of Alzheimer’s disease with my father (the victim) and my mother (the victim’s spouse). I can attest to the mind-robbing cruelty of this disease and the devastating effects it has on both the victims and the family of the stricken. My mother (in her 80s) cared for my father in their home up until the final three months of his life, when it became necessary to place him in a care facility. My father had became a danger to both my mother and himself. The institutionalization of our loved one had heart-wrenching emotional effects on both my mother and me, as my dad had been a loving, good, and kind husband and father all his life. He was 86 when he died and had celebrated 64 years of happy marriage with my mother. Neither she nor I would have ever taken his life and called it an “an act of mercy.” We are Christians who believe that only God has the right to decide when it is our time to die. Finally (whether you are a Christian or non-Christian), which doctor or family member has the knowledge and moral right to determine when a person is old enough or sick enough to be killed? Why not mercifully kill a person who has Stage 3 cancer? Or who can no longer walk or eat whole foods? How about a person who is blind or one who is a quadriplegic? Who will be that human judge? Who will judge when you are sick enough to warrant being killed?


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