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Snelling Murder-Suicide in National Spotlight

The love story and deaths of a Fogelsville couple are making headlines across the country.

The 60-year love story and deaths of prominent GOP activist Charles Snelling and his ailing wife, Adrienne, are making headlines from Tampa to Seattle for many reasons.

in their Fogelsville home at 1280 Church St. on Thursday morning. Charles Snelling , the Lehigh County coroner has ruled. His wife's cause of death is still under investigation.

The college sweethearts were each 81. They are survived by five children and 11 grandchildren.

The murder-suicide follows the deteriorating health of Adrienne, an accomplished fine arts photographer diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years ago. Charles Snelling wrote a poignant biographical column for the New York Times in 2011 describing the couple's caregiver role reversal during his wife's illness.

The Snelling family issued a statement saying it believes Charles acted out of "deep devotion and profound love."

The Snelling case is drawing attention to the anguish faced by families of Alzheimer's patients - even those, like Snelling, who are wealthy enough to afford private nursing care and who have a well-established support system of family and friends, the Morning Call reports.

The death of Charles Snelling is being noted in the greater Washington, D.C., area because of his powerful role as former chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. President George H.W. Bush nominated Snelling to the post. The authority controls both Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

And in Vermont, Snelling's passing is news because his late brother, Richard, was governor of the state in the mid 1970s.

Snelling was born into a successful family, graduated from Lehigh University and became an inventor and entrepreneur.

Reflecting on the couple's tragic end, some friends of the Snellings now think an anniversary dinner they attended recently may have been a farewell celebration.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Ronald Weaver May 22, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Florence, you have the right to your opinions even if they are wrong in other peoples eyes. Affordable Healthcare in Obama's plan? Good parts but will financially never work as is. Those that passed it never read it but it is suppose to work? No one is denying access to birth control just don't want to pay for it, get your facts straight stop being a Demo robot.
Florence Silversmith May 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM
As I said we need a good conversation, about Real Healthcare problems that aid ALL. Affordable Healthcare or Insurance Co. based care was a Republican plan until they were against it. I personally think we can do better.
Ronald Weaver May 22, 2012 at 02:21 AM
yes ,we can do better, however, this is not the place to discuss it in respect for the family and regardless of ones opinion on what happened with this loving couple.
Daryl Nerl May 22, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Interesting that you would raise abortion as an issue here to attack Democrats, since Mr. Snelling -- as a Republican -- was a well-known supporter of abortion rights for women.
Ronald Weaver May 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Daryl..If you read carefully without bias, I said leave judgment up to God our creator including judgment of Mr. Snelling, you and I. It is a known fact that most liberals support abortion and most conservatives do not. I did not bring politics into this Florence did, but I am sorry I responded, it is a total waste of time I am sure you can agree.

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