Snelling’s brother in murder-suicideMarch 31,2012
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Charles D. Snelling, a major figure in Pennsylvania Republican politics and brother of Gov. Richard Snelling, shot himself and the cause and manner of his wife’s death is pending, according to the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office.
A statement from the family on Thursday said Snelling had killed his wife, Adrienne, and then himself in their home in Upper Macungie Township, according to the Morning Call in Allentown. Snelling had been nursing his dementia-stricken wife for more than six years, according to an autobiographical essay he published on the New York Times web site in December.
Charles Snelling’s death was ruled a suicide and he died from a gunshot wound. Adrienne Snelling’s cause and manner of death are pending, the coroner’s office said.
Authorities from the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office and Berks-Lehigh Regional police released no further details about the deaths on Friday morning.
The couple, both 81, celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary March 21.
The couple “struggled greatly to manage the effects” of Adrienne Snelling’s Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement issued Thursday from the family.
“After apparently reaching the point where he could no longer bear to see the love of his life deteriorate further, our father ended our mother’s life and then took his own life as well. This is a total shock to everyone in the family, but we know he acted out of deep devotion and profound love.”
Charles Snelling, a 1954 Lehigh University graduate, was an engineer, entrepreneur and inventor and a major figure in Republican circles, from the Lehigh Valley to Harrisburg to Washington, D.C. He was a regular guest columnist in severl newspapers including The New York Times.
Adrienne Snelling, a 1952 Cedar Crest College graduate, was a respected fine arts photographer who published two books and frequently exhibited her work.
The couple had five children.
Richard A. Snelling was born on Feb. 18, 1927, in Allentown, Pa.He was elected governor in November 1976. He died Aug. 14, 1991 at his home.MORE IN This Just In
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