Obituary for Donald Sneed
MBTA Administrator, Real Estate Broker, & Banker
Donald Emmett Sneed, Jr., who retired from the Mass Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) as an Administrator, had over a 50 year career as a real estate broker, and most notably was known / recognized as the co-founder, president and chairman of the board of Unity Bank and Trust Company of Boston, MA. Founded in 1968, Unity Bank was New England’s first Black owned and operated commercial bank. A resident of Dorchester, MA for over 60 years, Mr. Sneed, 83 transitioned from this life on Friday December 15, 2017 from a long term illness.
Born in Malden and raised in both Cambridge and Everett, MA, he was the eldest son of Donald, Sr. a retired Hood Dairy Co. deliveryman and Middlesex Co. Constable and Elizabeth Sneed, a homemaker. Mr. Sneed graduated in 1952 from Rindge Technical High of Cambridge and post graduation, had completed extensive business management courses at Harvard University.
Mr. Sneed’s career in real estate began in 1956. He first owned and operated Cooperative Reality, 336 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester, MA. His real estate portfolio includes the sales, development, financing, and management of numerous properties throughout the greater Boston Metropolitan area. As an MBTA administrator, Donald E. Sneed astutely carried out his professional responsibilities as a facilities manager. He was instrumental in advocating the hiring of minorities into long-term careers with the MBTA. In all his professional endeavors, Mr. Sneed’s notoriety as Unity Bank’s President was most profound. His son, Brian C. Sneed of Baltimore, MD shares with reverence, “as a child, I recall driving past the bank at its original location - 416 Warren Street, Roxbury, MA with my dad in his station wagon and several male peers, returning from one of our many movie outings, and proudly pointing out to my peers, “That’s my dad’s bank.” Through his vaunted and storied career, Mr. Sneed was awarded and received numerous local, state, and national commendations, honors, and awards for his work as a banker, community development leader and civil rights activist. “To countless many, my father was known as a mentor, an advocate, and a trusted advisor to family, friends and associates in the unconditional sharing of his both ascribed and achieved wisdom.”
“Don”, as he was affectionately referred by friends, was forever the Renaissance man. He enjoyed fellowship with family, world travel, philanthropy, politics, entrepreneurial endeavors, physical fitness, riding his beloved Harley Davidson Motorcycle, and hosting social events in the infamous “Don’s Hide-Away.” He was a life member of the NAACP, charter member of the National Associates of Market Developers, and a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall.
He is predeceased in death by his wife Maxine E. Sneed of Boston, MA, parents Donald and Elizabeth Sneed of Everett, MA, brother Joseph Sneed of Randolph, MA, sister Catherine Kinnitt of Everett, MA, brother Melvin Sneed of Boston, and grandson Daniel Robinson, Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA. He is survived by sisters Marlene M. Pryor of Dorchester, MA and Carol W. Milton-Morealle ( Robert, brother in-law) of Rochester, NH, and was loving father of daughter Doreen Hornbeak (Steve, son in-law) of Virginia Beach, VA, son Brian C. Sneed of Baltimore, MD, and step father of Robert D. Johnson, Leslie M. Peters, Richard B. Johnson, Renee E. Johnson. Mr. Sneed is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Family and friends are warmly invited to attend the homegoing service at Concord Baptist Church at 180 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton, MA on Friday, January 5, 2018, viewing from 10-11 am and service at 11 am. Immediately following the service, the internment of committal will take place at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in Peabody, MA.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Riley-Antoine Funeral Home.