When it comes to marriage, Sam Snipes is a bit of a thoroughbred.
Snipes, a 91-year-old Quaker who all his life has lived on the family farm in Morrisville, Pa., where he grew up, was happily married to his first wife, Barbara Snipes, for 51 years before she died of cancer in his arms while in hospice care in June 2001.
He grieved for her but recognized that life had to go on. And it did, with the support and help of his family, friends and community.
Four years later, at age 85, Sam Snipes married again. His second wife, Marion Snipes, had been the best of friends with his late wife, Barbara.
Sam Snipes has been active all his life and he still shows up at his law office every day, primarily doing estate law these days on a part-time basis.
Although he is a great-grandfather of three, he still starts off most mornings with a horseback ride and is a prominent leader in the Quaker community of the Philadelphia region.
He was 85 the last time he went downhill skiing, 82 the last time he went figure skating and 75 the last time he went jogging.
With the blessing of Sam and Barbara’s children, Sam tied the knot with Marion five years ago. It was her second marriage also.
Her first husband, Mike Smith, to whom she had been married for 35 years (17 of which they spent separated), died in 2002. In the last years of Smith’s life, they got back together but her role was essentially to be his caregiver.
Marion, who got her bachelor’s degree in social work from Temple University, is a retired geriatric social worker.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I rent an apartment at the Snipes Farm in Morrisville.