Jean Lindell Snell
Jean Lindell Snell was born on December 24, 1949 to Frank and Mildred Snell in Noorvik, Alaska. He joined his three brothers Gilbert and Dietrick Field, and Oscar Snell, Sr. and three sisters Lorena Wright, Mollie Geffe (adopted) and Frances Barger. He went to be with the Lord on November 5, 2020 at Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, Alaska.
Jean grew up and lived a subsistence lifestyle in Noorvik with his mother Mildred. He talked about growing up going hunting and fishing throughout his childhood with his best friend Roy Barr, Sr.
He left Noorvik in 1965 to attend Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska. He graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe in May of 1970. After he graduated from high school, Jean enlisted in the Navy where he was stationed in Mirabar, California in 1971 and was honorably discharged in May 1973.
Jean met Florina while visiting his biological father, Gideon Barr, Sr., in Shishmaref in 1974. They were later married on August 28, 1976 after the birth of their first son Alfred Eddie Snell on April 19, 1976. A year later, they had another son named Frank Dietrick Snell on November 9, 1977. Ten years later, they had two more children: Molly Mae Snell and Gilbert Benny Snell. Jean took in Florina’s oldest daughter, Sara Tocktoo shortly after they got married as his own.
Jean worked as a surveyor at the Red Dog Mine at Red Dog, Alaska. He also surveyed for McClintock Land Associates in the Bering Strait Region and Kotzebue Region. He helped map all of the Native allotments for Shishmaref and many other villages in the Norton Sound and NANA Region.
After working as a surveyor, Jean was the site agent for GCI who helped people set up their internet antennas until he began to be sick. He passed his role as the GCI site agent to his son, Gilbert, whom he trained. He was proud to help promote GCI for their internet with an ad in the newspaper.
Besides his employment, Jean liked to help people with their furnaces at their homes. Whenever people needed help with their furnace, he’d never hesitated.
Jean received the Medal of Honor in November 1996 from Governor Tony Knowles in Anchorage, Alaska for saving the life of John Sinnok, who fell through the ice in the Shishmaref lagoon.
Jean just loved his 18 grandkids and seven great grandkids. He would do everything and anything for them if they asked.
Jean is survived by his wife Florina Snell, his sons Alfred, Frank and Gilbert, his daughters Sara Tocktoo and Molly, his sister Mollie Geffe; his half-sisters Annie Ahgupuk, Mary Ann Boring, Elsie Weyanna and Arlene Shawn, his half-brother Perry L. Barr, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins in the Nome and Kotzebue area.
Jean is preceded in death by his parents Frank and Mildred Snell, his biological father Gideon Barr, Sr., his brothers Gilbert and Dietrick Field, Oscar Snell, Sr.; sisters Lorena Wright and Frances Barger; half-brothers Delano and Thomas M. Barr and Gideon Barr, Jr.; half-sister Christina Obruk.