Couple enjoys active lifestyle
Editor’s Note: This the third and final installment of a series about the lives of Webster City area residents of who are at least 90 years old. All are still very active with friends, church and volunteer activities. Most still drive and live on their own. A local group has organized an event at 10 a.m. on June 24 at The Bridge to honor these nonagenarians.
For almost the entirety of their over ninety years of life, Warren and Arline Snell have lived in Hamilton County. Here, they raised a family and tended to their farm. They continue to live here in retirement and have traveled across the world.
Warren and Arline met while in high school. Both happened to attended a 4-H roller skating party in Fort Dodge. Warren, a junior, happened to notice Arline, a sophomore, at the event.
“I saw this little gal out there skating away, and I thought, ‘Gee, I believe I kind of like her,'” Warren Snell said.
The couple were wed in 1940 when Warren was 19 and Arline was 18. They raised two children in Hamilton County. Now, their son lives in Des Moines and their daughter lives in Stillwater, Minn.
“We’re lucky that they’re that close,” Arline Snell said.
After several jobs and many years of farming, the couple retired. They moved to Webster City on New Year’s Day in 1981. Both have kept busy in retirement. Warren Snell volunteers at Asbury Methodist Church doing any handyman work he can help with. Arline Snell loves to bake. She said that even if her baked goods might not be the healthiest for her, she does it for the joy of baking.
The couple also enjoys walking the trails in Webster City. They weren’t out and about as much since last year when Arline had a stent put in. However, she said she’s ready to hit the trails again this summer. The couple has also enjoyed walking on the High Trestle Trail over the Des Moines River. Warren first traveled the trail with his son via bicycle. The couple later walked the trail as Arline, who received her first bicycle at age 40 from Warren, doesn’t feel like biking anymore.
Both Warren and Arline Snell said they are fortunate for their good health. While Warren said he has had several operations and broke his leg once, he’s carried on and stayed active.
“It’s just one of those things that go along with living,” Warren Snell said.
Warren and Arline Snell have had plenty of chances to stay active in their travels abroad. Warren said the couple’s most memorable expeditions include a trip to Australia and New Zealand and a trip to Peru. While in Peru, the couple walked on long mountain trails in high altitude. Warren was undaunted.
“We came down, and then he went up again the same day,” Arline Snell exclaimed.
Many of their trips have included family members. The couple used to have a camper which they took to state parks with them. During one of three trips Arline and Warren have taken to Alaska, they took their entire family along with them for a cruise. It was part of a tradition where the couple went on big trips starting on their 50th anniversary and every five years following.
“It was kind of nice to have the family all under one roof again,” Warren Snell said. “I don’t think we could ever do that again because the kids are so involved in school and activities, but we’re sure glad we did it when we did.”
The Snells have also been able to keep up with extended family though their travels. Arline’s father came to the United State from Sweden. The couple went to his hometown and stayed with some of Arline’s family overseas.
“We’ve enjoyed going there. They’ve been most hospitable and we’ve had a lot of fun together,” Arline Snell said.
Arline still keeps in touch with those relatives through the internet.
Warren’s grandmother emigrated from Norway, and the couple also visited her hometown. Warren kept in contact with his family there for some time, but lost touch after many of them passed away.
Many of Warren and Arline’s friends have also passed away. They recalled another time they went to Alaska in a motor home about two months after they retired. Arline said a big group of friends went with them and it was a lot of fun.
“They’re all gone now,” Arline Snell said. “It makes it kind of sad, but everyone had such a good time on that trip.”
Warren enjoys fishing at Briggs Woods Lake and Brushy Creek Lake. However, he does so on the banks now. He sold his boat one year ago. As all his fishing buddies have passed away, Arline didn’t want him going out alone in the boat.
However, Arline and Warren are far from alone.
“We’ve lost an awful lot of friends, but we’ve made a lot of new ones,” Warren Snell said. “We’re fortunate to have some good ones.”
The couple said they have many great neighbors in Webster City and have met many friends during their time here. Arline said at their age, their family and their friends mean the most to them. With their family still close, they’re able to see their grandchildren participate in their favorite sports. They’re able to keep in touch with their children. They’re able to stay active in the community and keep making new friends.
“We meet a lot of people and we enjoy our neighbors,” Arline Snell said. “Really, we couldn’t have nicer neighbors. We enjoy Webster City.”