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Joseph Snair, retired Baltimore Sun printer, dies

Joseph Snair worked at The Baltimore Sun as a printer and compositor from 1961 until his retirement in 1996.
Joseph Snair worked at The Baltimore Sun as a printer and compositor from 1961 until his retirement in 1996.

Joseph Snair, a retired Baltimore Sun printer who enjoyed entertaining people, died Feb. 10 of kidney failure at Loch Raven Center in Parkville. The longtime Hamilton resident was 84.

Joseph Snair, son of Robert Snair and Jennie Snair, was born in Baltimore and raised by his stepfather, James Mullen, who assembled airplanes at the old Glenn L. Martin Co., in the city’s Pimlico neighborhood and later Hamilton.

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He was a graduate of Towson Catholic High School and after enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1953, guarded POWs at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and later was a crew member on the Honest John surface-to-surface artillery rocket system. He was discharged in 1956.

After working as a salesman and completing an apprenticeship, Mr. Snair went to work in 1961 as a printer and compositor in The Sun’s fourth-floor composing room at its former North Calvert Street building. He retired in 1996.

Gifted with an outsize personality, Mr. Snair, who was known as “Ronnie,” enjoyed entertaining family and friends with an endless stream of jokes and music, and playing Santa Claus at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

In 1981, Mr. Snair appeared in the Center Stage production of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s “Inherit the Wind.”

He also volunteered at St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton and Overlea-Perry Hall American Legion Post 130, where he was also a member.

Mr. Snair was an avid motorcyclist who “rarely stayed in one place for long,” said his daughter, Patti Koski of Hydes.

Mr. Snair donated his body to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, family members said.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. March 7 at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 1102 Hart Road, Towson.

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In addition to his daughter, Mr. Snair is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Lucille Granitz, a registered nurse; four sons, Andy Snair of Hampden, Kenny Snair of Hamilton, Jimmy Snair of Perry Hall and Scott Snair of Ocean Pines; two sisters, Margaret Tawney of Fullerton and Bernadette Mullen of Bowleys Quarters; and nine grandchildren.

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