Pamela Hilton Snow, who has served on the Nebraska Arts Council board, passed away this month.
Everyone here at the NAC, as well as the Nebraska Culture Endowment, are deeply saddened and join the entire arts and humanities community in Nebraska in mourning the loss of Pam.
Pam not only served on the NAC Board, but also on the NCE Board and as its executive director from 2006 to 2014. She joined the NAC Board in 2020 and remained on until her passing.
Suzanne Wise, executive director of NAC, worked with Pam for eight years, and remembered their time fondly.
“Pam was not only a colleague, but a dear friend. In addition to being a serious professional, she brought a sense of fun to our work together and I will particularly miss our trips together visiting communities across the state.”
Shari Hofschire, who served on the NAC Board with Pam,
“Pam devoted herself to the service of others. After leading the growth of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, she continued that service as a volunteer, enriching statewide organizations with her talents. She made a difference.”
Pam grew up in Lincoln, graduated early from Lincoln Southeast High School and enrolled in college courses in Loughborough, England. While studying in England, she lived with Megan and Jim Murdoch, friends of Pam’s parents who would become family in the decades yet to come. She returned to the states and enrolled at William and Mary, where she graduated with a degree in English and a minor in art and music. Her love of language and the arts permeated her life. Upon returning to Lincoln, she enrolled in graduate classes in art and worked at Tyrell’s Flowers where she met a mustachioed florist named Marc Snow. Swept off her feet, they married in 1973. In 1975 and 1977, they welcomed sons Marcus and John. Pam and Marc were a team from the time they started dating until the end. When John was a few months shy of one year of age, they moved to Grand Island and opened Snow’s Floral Company, where she was the brains behind the computer system, accounts receivable, sales and was “quality control” for years. During that time, they purchased land outside of Grand Island, raised quarter horses, delivered over 25 foals, and turned their land into their playground. She played tennis and golf regularly, and she extended that love to her boys. Marc and Pam raised their family in Grand Island, and they all continue to have a soft spot in their heart for “GI.” They ran the floral business as a team until 2004 when they exited the floral industry and moved to Ashland. While there, they golfed frequently, went on photography excursions, traveled occasionally, finished each other’s sentences and quite simply enjoyed spending time together. They were inseparable.
Pam’s life cannot be fully described unless you understand the depth of her involvement in her community and her art. Pam continuously gave back to others, serving on fifteen boards, assuming a leadership role in many of them. She was very involved with St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, serving on the Board of Directors, including a term as Board Chairperson. Her work with the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and the National Endowment for Humanities was notably extensive. In addition to serving as a Board member for the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, she served as its executive director 2006-2014. She was a site consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducting site reviews and evaluating the effectiveness of state humanities councils. Pam was proudly serving as a board member of the Cooper Foundation and as First Vice-President of the History Nebraska Board of Trustees when she fell ill.
Her thirst for lifelong learning and her art remained a constant. In addition to her college degree in English, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at University of Nebraska-Kearney. In her 60s, she took Photography courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in classes with students younger than her children. She played the piano, sang in the choir at St. Stephen’s in Grand Island, and taught herself the ukulele. Her yearly ukulele performance dressed as “Mrs. Claus” and her “Happy Birthday” performances were a family favorite. She rekindled her interest in photography in her 50’s, when she began working with large and medium format (i.e., old film cameras with negatives as big as a polaroid) film photography. When places to develop her film disappeared, she purchased her own equipment, supplies and figured out how to do it for herself. This is a microcosm of her approach to life; she never saw a hurdle that could not be overcome or a problem that could not be solved with thought and hard work.
Pam loved her family and friends dearly and was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, auntie, cousin and friend. She was known for wonderful cards and letters, long photography sessions when the family was altogether, frequent phone calls, and her amazing “rice dish.” She loved to watch artistic movies, read books, write, play golf, and attend Nebraska football games because her men love their Cornhuskers. She will be dearly missed in so many ways, but the family is certain her spirit will remain in all those she has touched during her time on earth.
A funeral for Pam was held on September 24th.