A. Howard Metro
Anita Ann Hawkins Snoddy 1946 - 2016
It is with sadness that I report that Anita Ann Snoddy passed away on Monday January 11, 2016. her obituary is in the Washington Post at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?pid=177324650.
Anita used her middle name at BCC.
Anita and I became friends 15 years after graduation when she asked me to assist her with a sophisticated issue in Estate Planning in her mother's estate. At BCC we may have spoken once or twice. It was an honor to be her attorney and then her friend.
When Anita retired from the United Mine Workers as the Executive Legal Assistant to the General Counsel, she came to work for our firm to fill in as a temporary employee for a few months. I asked her about her experience at BCC.
She allowed me to write a about what it was like to grow up Black in Bethesda and in our class of 64. I have downloaded this here.
Another Bethesda Chevy Chase What Has Really Changed…From A. Howard Metro
In 1963, Anita Ann Hawkins (she chose to use Anita after graduation) sat at the lunch counter at the Peoples Drug Store in Bethesda with a white girl friend and ordered lunch. They had walked over from B-CC on their lunch break. The waitress refused to serve Ann, telling her the counter was off limits to Negroes. Ann and her friend skipped lunch and walked back to school.
Ann Anita Hawkins is one of three of our Black classmates of the Class of 1964. Ann (or Anita, as I have come to know her) and I have had the opportunity to work together over the past several years and we have become good friends. At times, we have reflected on our experiences growing up in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. Ann’s memories are so different from mine that I suggested she permit me to share some of them with the rest of you. It was eye opening for me to learn what growing up in our community was like for a Black student in the 50s and 60s.
Ann lived on Hawkins Lane, a road running parallel to Wisconsin Avenue on the north side of Jones Bridge Road. Her father bought just under three acres of land there at a tax sale in the early 1930s. Mr. Hawkins, a carpenter who owned a small construction company, built six houses on the land, one for his own family and some to rent to other Black families. The Hawkins family was close, and this street was a safe haven for Ann. Unfortunately, living on Hawkins Lane did not mean that Ann could attend elementary school in Bethesda. When Ann started school in 1951, at age 5, she had to take a bus to Rock Terrace Elementary School in Rockville, on Martin’s Lane, just off Route 28. That was the closest school that Black children in Bethesda could attend.
By the time Ann was in the fifth grade, county schools were finally integrated and she was able to attend North Chevy Chase Elementary, located just up the street from her home. It was not an easy transition. Ann was one of three Black students in the school and the only Black student in her classroom. She remembers the stares and the silence of her classmates. Most of the other children didn’t even speak to her. When it came time to choose teams, she was the last or near the last to be selected. It wasn’t until she learned her multiplication tables better than anyone else – enabling her to score well in academic team events -- that she was eagerly selected as a team member. Ann was asked to join an all white Girl Scout troupe. In an effort to earn a merit badge, she went with the troupe to Thursday evening roller skating lessons at the rink in Rockville, near Congressional Shopping Center.
When everyone earned their merit badges, the troupe decided to go skating on the following Saturday, an “open skating” day. But when Ann came to the front of the line to pay and enter, she was turned away because she was Black. The cashier told her the rink was segregated for “open skating” day, but not for lessons. Ann remembers few other activities with the troupe. When Ann started BCC, she lived near a school bus stop. She doesn’t remember why she was uncomfortable, but she only took the bus once. From the second day of school in tenth grade until her senior year, when her mother let her drive to school, Ann walked to school every day, a distance of almost two miles. She remembers objects that were thrown at her from passing cars and obscenities that were yelled, but for reasons she cannot explain, that seemed better than riding the school bus.
Most of us have fond memories of the Bethesda movie theaters and the Hot Shoppes. Ann’s parents explained that these were places to avoid. It was well known that Blacks would be refused admittance to the theater and service at the restaurant. What is extraordinary about Ann is that she does not recall these experiences as dark memories, but rather as part of the fabric of her life that allowed her to succeed. Ann worked as a paralegal and in administration for many years. She joined the Navy reserve and worked in Jag until she retired. She returned to the job she loved best -- legal secretary--- in the Montgomery County Attorney’s office.
I am grateful to Anita for allowing me to relate these experiences to all of you, our fellow class members. In 1972 when I graduated law school, only 7 % of our class were woman. Had Anita had the opportunity, she would have been in my class and graduated with honors. She had a sense of peace about her that anyone who met her could not help but feel. I will miss her.
ANITA ANN SNODDY
On Monday, January 11, 2016 at her home in Rockville, MD, Anita Ann Hawkins Snoddy passed on to be with her Lord and Savior. She was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel and Inez Hawkins of Chevy Chase, MD. Anita was a loving and dedicated wife of 42 years to her husband, John O. Snoddy, who was by her side when she died. She lived a life in which she defied the odds and did things her way. Anita possessed a nearly incomprehensible level of love, honesty, and kindness which was evident to everyone who met her.
Anita was educated in the Montgomery County Public Schools and was a proud graduate of The Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, in Bethesda, MD. After graduation she began working full time and later conducted university level studies at Georgetown, George Washington, and completing her degree in Para-Legal Studies degree from the University of Maryland. All completed while maintaining a full time job, raising her children, and maintaining her home. Having grown up and lived next to the Naval Medical Center and being inspired by the "beautiful white uniforms" Anita joined the US Naval Reserve at the age of 38 and served in the JAG department. She was honorably discharged in 1992 .
Anita worked for over 35 years for the United Mine Worker Association as a legal secretary and para-legal. Upon her retirement she continued to work in the legal field for WoldCom Communications and the Montgomery County Attorneys Office in Rockville. She later served as the Clerk to her church until she became the daytime caregiver for her grandchildren Solomon, Naima, and Dahlia, according to her, the best job she ever had.
She is survived by her loving and adoring husband, sons, John and Steven; daughters, Deloris and Jean; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Viewing and funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 19 at 10 a.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 608 N Horners Ln., Rockville, MD 20850
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that you send reflections, memories or condolences to the following email: