In Memory of Mrs. Celeste “Pat” Sneed

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Mrs. Celeste “Pat” Sneed


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

Mrs. Celeste”Pat” Sneed began her service to Vivian B. Adams School in 1971.  She served as Social Worker and Psychometrist.  In 1982, she was named Director of the school and remained in that position until her retirement in 1994.  In 2005, she was named to the Board of Directors of Vivian B. Adams School and served on the board until 2012.

While titles define the roles that a person plays, it is the words of others that give depth to the way those roles were played.  In his eulogy, Dr. Billy Gaither, expressed the way many of us perceived Mrs. Sneed:

When I met “Pat” in 1989 she was serving as Director of the Vivian B. Adams School.  I marveled at her masterful juggling of her administrative skills with a gentle, caring, compassionate nature.  Her work was a labor of love.  She recruited volunteers and employed caring, competent faculty of staff.  She exuded gentleness and genuine caring.

  Wherever Pat went she brought a ray of sunshine. You could count on her when she took on any task.


Mrs. Sneed was a staff member, Director and Board Member of Vivian B. Adams School.

The intelligence, love, compassion, and dedication she brought to those roles is best expressed by those priveledged to have worked and served with her.


Mrs. Sneed hired me in 1988 and to my remembrance there was never a harsh word between us.  She was the nicest and kindest person that I had known to that point in my life.  She was so concerned and passionate about VBAS, the students and individuals.  All of her actions were done in such a sweet and kind way.  I remember her being just as compassionate about her employees.  She cared for us and we all cared about her.  

I don’t remember seeing Mrs. Pat in a “Bad Mood” or acting as if VBAS was just a “Job”.  This Job was very important to her and everyone knew it.  Her silent strength made all of us better employees by knowing and working with her. 

She was more than a Boss to me, she became a Friend and I am a better person for the experience.   Mrs. Sneed, we will remember you always, Belinda Carr, Vivian B. Adams School,Staff



Pat Sneed was a wonderful friend to me and an awesome boss.  She was a most thoughtful, caring and considerate person and made everyone around her feel comfortable.  She loved everyone! She was so very kind and generous with praise of others. I feel that I am a better person having worked for and with her for 19 years and knowing her much longer.  She was definitely the one person you were happy to know and call her your friend.  I am reminded of the “Ten Commandments for People in the Helping Professions” that Mrs. Sneed shared with the staff at Vivian B. Adam School.  She certainly practiced these each and every day.

  • BE ALERT to needs of people you serve and cheerfully try to meet those needs. What counts most in life is what we do for others.
  • BE GENUINELY INTERESTED in people. You can like almost anyone if you try.
  • SPEAK TO PEOPLE. There are few things as nice as a pleasant word of greeting.
  • SMILE AT PEOPLE. It takes much more effort to frown that it takes to smile.
  • CALL PEOPLE BY NAME. The most delightful sound to anyone is the sound of their own name.
  • BE FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL. If you want to have friends, be a friend.
  • BE CORDIAL. Speak and act as if everything you do is a genuine pleasure.
  • BE GENEROUS with praise—cautious with criticism.
  • BE CONSIDERATE of the opinions and feelings of others. A controversy often has three sides; yours, the other person’s, and the right side.
  • ALWAYS MAINTAIN a good sense of humor, lots of patience, and just enough humility, and you will be rewarded many fold.


Gail Tew ,Vivian B. Adams School, Staff



Pat Sneed was that special person ,for a special service.

She quietly led the school and gave leadership for others to follow.

A friend to every student and staff. I will miss her.

Bob Crosby, Vivian B. Adams School, Board of Directors


I really loved serving on the Vivian B. Adams School Board with Mrs. Sneed, she always had great insight on how to handle any situation.  Thank you, Pat we really miss you.

Bill Kamerer, Vivian B. Adams School, Board of Directors


Pat has left a beautiful legacy to challenge each of us to continually reach out to others.

Pat Jackson, Vivian B. Adams School, Board of Directors


I knew Pat for over forty-five years and in all that time I never heard her say anything that was not uplifting, positive, and encouraging. She was a person that people loved to be around because you just knew she was going to be kind, considerate, and compassionate. She always had a smile on her face and had a friendly and out-going personality. A few of Pat’s other attributes were her patience, gentleness, optimistic nature, thoughtfulness, generosity, and she was courageous. Pat’s sweet and loving disposition will truly be missed.  

Fred Steagall Vivian B. Adams School, Board of Directors



Having served on the Vivian B. Adams School Board of Directors from 1981 to 2011, I had the good fortune to witness Pat Sneed at work as a Social Worker and Psychometrist and for twelve years as the Director of Adams School after the untimely death of Raygene Burkett. Later after her retirement, we served on the Board together for six years.


During all this time Pat was very professional and organized. Not only was she an excellent and dedicated Director, she was also an empathetic friend and supporter to VBA clients. She was genuinely concerned about their problems and needs. Pat embodied the highest qualities one could hope for as a representative of Adams School being gracious, kind and charming.


I always looked forward to seeing her at the school, at church or in the community. She was a lovely person, accomplished, intelligent, one who I will remember fondly. VBA and Ozark were fortunate to have had Pat because she gave so much of herself.  James Lisenby,


Pat Sneed had many fine qualities.  When I was a member of the Vivian B. Adams School Board, she was chosen as director and she was an excellent choice. Sara N. Carroll


I was a member of the Board of Directors of Vivian B. Adams School when our first director, Raygene Burkett, died of a sudden heart attack.  Raygene was doing a magnificent job at the school.  Raygene has learned all mental health and education laws applicable to the school, he raised money and attended countless public and private meetings, he was the face and hero of Vivian B. Adams School.  The story of the success of Vivian B. Adams School could have ended upon his untimely death.


     Without missing a beat, Pat Adams Woods, later Sneed, picked up the mantle of Vivian B. Adams School.  She did it all as Director, just as Raygene had done.  The transition was smooth, the funds continued to come in, all meetings were attended and Adams School had a new hero.  Had it not been for Pat Sneed and her untiring dedication and unbelievable work ethic, Adams School could have ceased to exist.  Pat never lost her dedication and work ethic.  Pat retired in 1994 after twelve years as the school’s director.  Vivian B. Adams School missed her then and we miss her now.    


     Pat accepted an appointment as a member of the VBAS Board of Directors in 2005.  For the next seven years it was obvious that Pat  had not lost her intelligence, passion, grace, wit, and work ethic.  She was a most valuable board member.  Her love for the staff and clients was always evident.  I hope all the current staff at Vivian B. Adams School will strive each day to be like Pat.


Joe W. Adams, Vivian B. Adams School, Board of Directors


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