Obituary of Gerald N Wall
Gerald Norman Wall was born in Longmont, Colorado on September 4, 1934, to Perry Jason and Zella Beth Wall. He was the youngest of 10 children. Everyone knew him as “Snaz.”
Snaz was very kind, with a gentle and quiet nature. He will be remembered for his generous heart, keen sense of humor, loyalty to his friends and family, and musical talent.
At 9 years old, Gerald’s older brother Pete taught him how to play the guitar. He fell in love with it. He joined his high school’s band, playing the tenor sax and clarinet. Snaz left high school before graduating to join the United States military and received his GED while serving in the Navy. He began his service in October 1952. As a Navy Aviation Ordnanceman (A03) third class, he loaded atomic bombs aboard aircraft from the flight decks of aircraft carriers. He was also an aviation photographer. After four years of service, Snaz was honorably discharged in 1956 and went into music full time playing steel guitar. He said:
“I heard Jerry Byrd play steel guitar and he became my childhood idol. I bought every record Jerry made and studied his style. My taste expanded to players like Earl James “Joaquin” Murphey, Noel Boggs, Curley Chalker, Buddie Emmons an
. He played several venues in North and South Dakota, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisia d the list goes on. I learned much from each one down the line and I tried to include what I learned into my own style. I’ve been playing steel guitar since 1950 and have enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve had 3 great bands of my own and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything in the world. The steel guitar is my life.”
In 1956 Snaz played Harts Corner Tavern with Willie Nelson, then went on the road for about a year in 1963na, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. He also played with Glen Campbell in New Mexico.
He stopped traveling and settled back in the Denver-metro area when his son Marc was born. He was a dedicated father and had a close relationship with his son until Marc’s passing in 2004.
Snaz played in several bands, most notably, the Good Ol’ Boys created by himself and Chuck Jefferies in 1987 and Don Elliot’s band The Ramblers created in 2007. He was inducted to the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame on August 26, 2001.
Snaz always said that he was lucky to follow his life-long passion with was music. He also treasured his relationships with his family and friends, including those he formed at the American Legion. He was a member of different posts throughout the Denver-metro area, most notably Post 161. He joined this Post upon moving to Westminster in 2004.
Snaz passed away on April 9, 2023. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews and adopted family Georgie, Mike, Doe, and Laurie.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Wall, please visit Tribute Store