As Staff Sgt. Joshua Snowden’s body was transported from Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home to Church of the Incarnation, his family found it odd that they were taking the long route through Highland Park.
But after they noticed numerous first responders saluting from the side of the street, they understood. This was Snowden’s last “oorah” through his hometown.
Snowden, a 31-year-old flight engineer in the Marines, was among 16 military members killed in a KC-130 plane crash on July 10 just north of Jackson, Mississippi. Snowden was stationed in New York at the time.
The fund is unrestricted, meaning its donations can go toward anything the family and church deem appropriate. Snowden’s sister, Sara Snowden Quarterman, said Mission 75204 and the Incarnation House, both of which provide resources to underprivileged youth, likely will be prime beneficiaries.
“Josh was an evangelist,” Quarterman said. “He even recently talked about wanting to make a gift to the church. I think with time that definitely would have become something of higher importance in his life. His life[’s] purpose was outside of himself.”
Quarterman said with the number of donations already received, they would be able to impact many children’s lives. But it’s not just the future that gives the family comfort — the lives Snowden influenced are made clear on a daily basis.
Snowden’s mother, Gay Hayslett, said a perfect example of his reach came from the Uber driver who took Snowden to the airport the day he was killed. The driver recently reached out to the family to tell them that although their conversation was brief, he could tell how great of a guy Snowden was.
Bearing a bracelet engraved with Snowden’s name and call sign, Ross Hardage, a fellow Marine who was Snowden’s childhood friend and roommate at Texas State University, recalled memories of karaoke duets in Uptown and campouts at the annual Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival in Stephenville. He also remembered how devoted Snowden was to God, the Marines, and his loved ones.
“He was destined to serve, and he was committed to serving God,” Hardage said. “He just really, really loved helping others in whatever way he could.”
Quarterman smiled as she thought about her brother’s life.
“He’s left a legacy behind that people — his people — are not going to forget.”
Donate to the Staff Sergeant Snowden Memorial Fund here.