James N. "JN" Snelling, 87, formerly of Eldorado, died early Monday morning, May 29, 2017 at Maple Gardens in Eaton, OH.
James was born May 24, 1930 in Eldon, MO. He was one of 13 children born to Elisha Franklin & Flora (Houser) Snelling. As soon as James was big enough to wear a pair of boots, he and an older brother began riding a family pig around their property. This was the beginning of his love of riding – bulls, horses, anything he could put a saddle on. His family moved from Missouri to Arizona, and finally to Richmond, Indiana when James was a high school senior. He became a talented carpenter, eventually working in both Ohio & Indiana on projects such as the Dayton Mall; Wright State University; Wright Patterson; and many more. On Oct. 29, 1954, he married Darlene M. Peck and to this union was born one child, their son James N. Snelling II, who was tragically killed, along with their grandson Joey Lawson, in an automobile accident in 1989.
James & his wife traveled to the King Brothers Rodeos, where "JN" would assist with, and ride in, the rodeo. Later they moved to the country where they were able to have and train horses. He loved to play the guitar; garden – especially grow strawberries; collect antiques; and tinker with old radios & TV's.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son; grandson; 12 brothers & sisters, and his wife of 60 years, Darlene, who died on November 4, 2015.
Survivors include: 4 grandchildren & 6 great-grandchildren: Eddie (Melissa) Lawson, Ellie & Zach; Justin Snelling, Madison & Austin; Jeannie (Justin) West, Nolan & Novalee; Jennifer Snelling, many nieces & nephews throughout the country.
Visitation for James N. "JN" Snelling will be Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, at the Bussard-Barnes-Vaniman Funeral Home, 311 N. Main St., Eldorado, with a short service at 4:00 PM with Pastor Scott Moler officiating.
Memorials may be made to Reid Health Foundation, Hospice Unit, 1100 Reid Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374.
Condolences may be sent to the family via Guest Book at www.barnesfuneralhome.com.