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In Memory

Nick Snow

Nick Snow

Nicholas John Snow, who covered oil and gas as a journalist in Washington D. C. for more than 40 years, died on April 1, 2022 from prostate cancer. He was born on June 16, 1948, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Robert G. and Leonora S. Snow. Nick graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Utah, where he was managing editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle, chairman of the Artists and Speakers Committee, and a proud founding member of the Bastille Family.

Nick joined the Deseret New, then Salt Lake City’s daily evening newspaper, as a copy editor in September,1971 before becoming a general assignment reporter there two years later. During this time Nick published “The Mountain Flower”, based in Park City, Utah to capture the change of the community from mining town to mountain resort.

He married Robbie Lee Bird, a reporter and editor at The Salt Lake Tribune, on Aug. 18, 1973 at Snowbird, Utah. They were the first married couple to work separately as journalists at Salt Lake’s competing daily newspapers.

Nick’s first energy reporting was a five-part Deseret News series in 1975 about potential impacts on rural Utah communities from construction of several coal-fire power plants. The articles received an award in 1976 from the American Society of Planning Officials and two other national journalism citations. The stories helped him earn a six-month energy fellowship in 1977 at Stanford University.

While at the Deseret News, Nick also rose to the challenge of covering popular music for a newspaper whose owners strongly disliked rock ‘roll. He responded in his column, Earth Anthem, by interviewing musicians from the worlds of jazz (including pianist George Shearing, trumpeter Thad Jones, and flutist Hubert Laws), folk music (Judy Collins, Rodney Dillard and Hoyt Axton) and blues (including Taj Mal). Several wound up on Nick’s weekly radio program, Earth Anthem Audio, at KUER-FM at the U of U from 1973 through 1976. He was also part of several advent garde music groups, “Lucky Thinks” being the most infamous.

Nick and Robbie relocated to the National Capital area in August of 1978 where he worked for The Oil Daily until 1993. He edited Petroleum Finance Week at Hart Publications from 1993 to 2002 and became Washington Editor for Oil and Gas Journal from 2007 until his retirement in January 2020. He also served as a part-time copy editor on The Washington Post’s financial and National news desks from 2003 to 2007.

He enjoyed writing fiction. Nick’s first professional short story sale was to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, which published “I Want My Lawyer” in its December 1, 1980 issue. His play “Casting Call” was performed as the Providence Players of Fairfax entry in the 2015 Northern Virginia Theatrical Alliance One Act Festival.

Raised as a Mormon in Utah, Nick joined Knox Presbyterian Church in Falls Church.Va., in 1988. He was ordained an elder in 1992 serving as Worship and Music Elder for several terms. He shepherd the Tone Chime Choir. He became involved with the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Mid Atlantic Men’s Council as the National Capital Presbytery representative and was chaired the 2017 Conference at Massanetta Springs, Va.

Nick also enjoyed hiking (both in Utah and the Washington Area), and baseball, following the Baltimore Orioles and then the Washington Nationals. He was a season subscriber to The National Symphony Orchestra and The Shakespeare Theater, and supported community theater.

He is survived by his wife Robbie; daughter Amanda Dorothy Snow (Christopher O’Connell) of Fairfax, Va; son Eric Michael Snow, Falls Church, Va; brother Christopher Snow (Cameron), sister Leonora Cross or Bainbridge Island, WA.; niece Anne Cross (Eric Ruess), two grand-nephews (Arlington, Mass.) , John M. Cross and Benjamin Diamond, Washington D.C.

Plus many friends and extended family both in the Washington Area and Salt Lake City.

Contributions in Nick’s memory may be sent to support Knox Presbyterian Men’s and Music programs at 7416 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, Va 22042. https://www.knoxfc.org/donations-and-memorial-gifts

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04/15/22 10:00 AM #1    

Kathy Schoenhals (Feigal)

I'm so grateful to have known Nick since Jr. High School. It was so nice to reconnect with him at our 50-year reunion. I especially enjoyed that he continued the reconnection with snail-mail letters! He was full of observations and stories. It's no wonder that many of his friends gave him the title,  "Oracle." He was so wise and witty. I loved his detailed descriptions of family outings...like his visit to Shenandoah National Park and a leisurely lunch in the shade. I don’t have many friends who can find such joy in simple things and share them with so much clarity. I was delighted to realizie we shared a love of music - jazz and musicals..and I was delighted with his booming baritone singing voice, which many classmates may not have been aware of. I realize I ended that sentence with a preposition, which Nick never would have done, being a consummate journalist. I continue to be amazed that Nick had specific memories of me from  Junior High and East. I believe he remembered every encounter we ever had.

I'm sad to realize I will never again be surprised and delighted to see an envelope with his scritch-scratch handwriting. Farewell, Mighty Oracle!


04/16/22 12:26 PM #2    

Candace Hyde (Wang)

Nick was the lovliest of men.  Articulate, always interesting, and full of heart.  Condolences to Robbie.

04/16/22 02:31 PM #3    

Sissel Hadel (Hawkes)

I loved reading about Nick.I feel lucky to have walked the halls of East High with him and the campus at the university. I wish I'd known him.

04/20/22 11:17 PM #4    

Royal I. Hansen

I was charmed by the engaging obitutary of Nick by his spouse, Robbie. Nick lived a most accomplished life and we are fortunate to have known him as a friend and colleague in the class of 1966. Our best to those who mourn his passing. He left a great personal and professional legacy for his family. RIP-Royal Hansen 

04/21/22 10:08 PM #5    

Patricia Jackson (Cannon)

My best memory of Nick highlights what a unique guy he was. One day in 1968, I was rushing out of Orson Spencer Hall on the U campus, heading for the Union Building. A large looming figure raced to catch up with me -- it was Nick, suddenly at my side to ask a favor. I remember looking way up to see his face as he breathlessly asked if I'd be willing to be the Society Editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle, where he was the Associate Editor.

Nick seemed surprised when I emphatically said "no." While I had a vague interest, I simply didn't have the time. He persisted, "but you'll get 2 extra credits per quarter toward your journalism degree, and it'll be fun!" I felt a sense of dread at the prospect of more responsibility, and may have rolled my eyes while I asked, "who's the outgoing Society Editor, and why did she quit?" He said "it's ME -- I've been ghost-writing as Society Editor! Please! Help!"

I gasped. How could I say no to my friend now?

After writing for the Chrony and graduating from the U, Nick and I both wrote full time for the Deseret News, he for the City Desk and I for the Womens Section! 

Mike was friends with Nick too, and we missed the opportunity to connect with him in the 80's-90's when we were all living and writing in Northern Virginia. Too busy. Familiar theme.
Nick really had an impact on those of us privileged to know him! Does anyone else have big regrets about losing touch with wonderful old friends who are now gone too soon? 

04/23/22 03:20 PM #6    

Vicky Hedges (Bohlig)

Yes, yes, Patty Jackson Cannon: Yes, I feel sad I never got to know Nick at all while at East.  It seemed all my class time was focused on music; Madrigal, A'Cappella and Quartet and Russian language.  In hindsight, I wish I had been more involved with Journalism and Debate Club at East. I had heard great things about Nick after our 50th when talking with both Dixon and Kathy S.F.  I promised myself I would visit with Nick the next Reunion but it didn't happen. Too bad.  And I really felt robbed not to have talked one more time with John Clark.  I always thought I would. John passed away so early, only 62.  I could go on, of course, about all the good friends and acquaintences we have lost since 1966.   I miss Marilyn Smoot.  I think of her so often.  I recently reflected on the early deaths InMemory. A good number of our young classmates were killed in war, like Vietnam or later from PTSD.  So tragic and senseless we now know in 2022.  I hope anyone reading this ramble will make it through the next 4 years and that we re-connect in 2026, if that is possible. I hope so. I want to laugh at funny stories and cry together over the sad ones. I hope we can share our common dramas and the real-life adventures we have had on this amazing journey.  I look forward to it .  Vicky Hedges Bohlig

04/24/22 01:16 PM #7    

Heidi Hayes (Jacobs)


From the beginning of our friendship which blossomed on the Board of Control,  I was in awe of Nick's brilliance.    As I  shared with him a month ago in correspondence,  I was keenly aware from the start that he was a rare and unique human being.  At the time back at East I certainly didn't have the experience to put it into words, but he was a genuine intellectual....perhaps the first I had come to. know in our age group.  Deliberate, insightful, and creative, he was his own man with finely tuned perceptions.  Nick had gravitas, even as a teenager.   He was also hilarious, wry, and dry but never at anyone's expense.  

Nick relished words and brought his finely honed talent to journalism in a career that flourished both in Salt Lake at the Deseret News, onto numerous publications, and eventually to D.C. and the Washington Post.   He also found expression and joy on his saxophone which seemed so him.  Although we were not in regular contact, I always felt fortunate to have a connection with him when now and then we would exchange emails over the years.   He was a wonderful man.    In the email that I previously referenced Nick expressed his devotion and love for his beloved Robbie and their family.  I send my condolences to them.     Clearly, Nick had a full and rewarding life.  An original life.      



04/25/22 11:28 AM #8    

Rodney Daynes

Nick was unusual. He was a journalist, a story teller, entirely authentic, and a friend. We met and became friends in seventh grade. He was editor of the “Rooseveltian,” annual edition, and he asked me, a thoroughly untalented artist, to draw the cover, now thankfully lost. At East, he was elected editor of the “Leopard,” and I was elected editor of the “Eastonia.” Both of us felt kinda funny about being part of the Board of Control (as if); we formed our own publications coalition, and we had several joint staff parties at “the ranch,” his spiritual retreat near Kamas. In college, five of us lived in a house on South Temple, Nick had named it “Blackwood Hall,” after Colonial Sanders college dormitory. It was a musical place (the late great Wayne Christiansen lived there), and Nick’s tenor sax was ever present, from straight jazz to avant garde. I feel obligated to say something about “the infamous ‘Lucky Thinks.’” We took our cues from Monk’s declaration that “wrong is right,” and combined that with the Lucky’s mad tirade in “Waiting for Godot,” which altogether resulted in pure chaos. Nick wrote a great piece about us in the “Chronicle,” noting that we could clear a room faster than any group before or since. Oh well. It was great fun, and Nick and I laughed a lot about it.


We stayed in touch after college, when he and Robbie moved to Park City, to start up a small paper, “The Mountain Flower,” and when they moved to Washington DC I visited frequently. He and his young family stayed with us in Boston, we went to Red Sox games together, and more recently, he stayed at my place on his way to his beloved ranch. I believe that there will be a place for him there, I hope so, he mentioned it to me a few days before he died.


May God rest Nick’s soul. We’ve lost a true original, rare these days, and I miss him.

04/26/22 09:28 AM #9    

Kathy Schoenhals (Feigal)

Beautiful reflections on Nick, Rod. NOTHING IS EVER LOST.

04/26/22 12:33 PM #10    

Dennis W. Erskine

I am saddened by this loss. Nick and I were friends at East and together on the yearbook. At UofU, I was the summer editor of the Chronicle and he took over from me. I regret not keeping in touch and more so when I found out he and I were in DC for several years at the same time (and surprised we didn't bump into each other during my time at the Congressional Quarterly. I am now even more inclined to reach out to old friends and keep in touch. 

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