Columbia, MO – A retired University of Missouri home economics professor injured in a house explosion last month has died.

Boone County medical examiners said 85-year-old Merna Sneed died at about 5 a.m. Thursday at University Hospital’s George Peak Burn Center. Sneed had been in critical condition since March 14 with burns over more than 40 percent of her body.

An autopsy was performed Thursday, but an official cause of death has not been finalized.

The March 14 explosion at 308 McNab Drive also killed Sneed’s husband, 87-year-old Carl Sneed, a retired mechanical engineering professor at MU.

Investigators determined that natural gas was the cause of the explosion, but the source of gas in the residence and ignition source that triggered the blast and ensuing fire remain undetermined.

Before her death, fire investigators said they had hoped to talk to Merna Sneed to determine what might have been the source for the deadly explosion.

Merna Sneed taught home economics at MU, retiring in the 1950s to raise the Sneeds’ three daughters. Since 1978, she had volunteered as many as 16 hours a week for the Columbia Public Library.

Survivors include three daughters, Linda Sneed of Columbia, Pam Heath of Alameda, Calif., and Patricia “Penny” Sneed of San Francisco; son-in-law, Dan Kelly; grandchildren, Kieran Kelly-Sneed, Devin Kelly-Sneed and Caitlin Kelly-Sneed; and nephews Chris Olander and Tim Olander.