UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - The political world is expressing shock as they learn about the death of Charles Snelling.
When asked what impact Snelling had on the Lehigh Valley, the current chair of the Republican party in Lehigh County said, "The bigger question is: what hasn't he done?"
Just four months ago, Charles Snelling credited his wife as a big part of his success.
The final part of the family statement reads: "This is a total shock to everyone in the family, but we know he acted out of deep devotion and profound love."
It's a love that started more than 60 years ago and that Charles Snelling says his wife's support helped him build.
"He was a larger-than-life figure," said Wayne Woodman, chairman of the Lehigh County Republican party. "He was vivacious. He was a renaissance man, full of energy and an appetite for challenge."
According to some of his friends, there wasn't anything Charles Snelling couldn't do.
"He was a political organizer. More than anything else, he was a person who knew how to bring together resources," said Woodman.
In 1969, Snelling was named president of the Allentown City Council and in a letter to the New York times in December, he wrote that he started his political career at the age of 21.
Snelling credits his wife, Adrienne, for showing him love that he never saw before.
The two met at Cedar Crest College and married in 1951.
In the Times article, Snelling wrote, "I pursued her with all the vigor at my command."
Snelling continued to build his career, which includes 20 issued patents, and several successful business ventures, all with Adrienne at his side.
Six years ago, Adrienne Snelling was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Charles, in his article, called it redemption for him, saying, "It never occurred to me for a moment that it would not be my duty and my pleasure to take care of my sweetie. After all, she took care of me in every possible way she could for 55 years."
Now the two are confirmed dead.
The family says they know that what he did was out of devotion, and if you still doubt that fact, here is one last thought from Charles Snelling about his lovely Adrienne.
"Sixty-one years ago, a partner to our marriage who knew how to nurture, nurtured a partner who needed nurturing. Now, 61 years later, a partner who is learning how to nurture is nurturing a partner who needs nurturing."
To read the full New York Times article, click here.
Allentown, PA 18102