Memorial Celebration of Wayne Snyder’s 98 Year Life
[ 1920 -2019 ]
3:00-5:00 Sat. June 8
Service and Reception
First Universalist Church of Denver
4101 E. Hampden (@Colorado Blvd NE corner) 80222
The Colorado Coalition mourns the passing of Wayne Snyder, who served as treasurer for years following the passing of his wife, Judy, who was the WILPF representative on our board for nearly three decades. We celebrate his life of service.
Jan Ross – Eulogy for Wayne E. Snyder my dad 6/5/19
Wayne E. Snyder was a great father, grandfather, husband, friend and mentor – the loyal head of our family. A man with sparkly blue eyes and the sharpest of minds to the end.
He was a generous soul who gave his all to our family & friends near and far – and this would be his greatest gift to us.
Dad grew into these roles – and became more gentle and patient in his retirement years. Especially in my mother’s last 5 years with COPD when he became the caregiver.
The arc of his life spanned almost 100 years – so is not easy to summarize.
But I will try because like him, I got the “Snyder gene” as a “loud talker”
As my husband always says,
“The Snyders elevate conversation to a competitive sport!
What made my dad so endearing is WHAT he had to say:
About sports – especially the Broncos & Rockies, politics, world history AND travelling:
Born in 1920 in Harrisburg, PA – dad grew up in a town so small, it shared a high school with the neighboring town
– his father was the Principal of his grade school – and made VERY sure he excelled in school.
– his mother was a career homemaker (whose hottest spice was paprika)
With 3 degrees: he first graduated from Gettysburg College in 1941.
World War II found him serving in Germany and England.
He returned to the states & got his BSFS at Georgetown University in 1947 with the G.I. Bill. Joined the Foreign Service and went to Africa – Mozambique and Swaziland –
where he learned to love spicy food, local shrimp and travelling! It was all so exotic to me. In fact, I have great memories of bringing his python snakeskin to show-in-tell in kindergarten!
Eventually he returned to the states and began his 2nd career. FINALLY in 1958, he met my mother in New York City and at the ripe age of 39 they married within the year.
Then twin baby girls arrived in 1961 – Judy and I quickly crowded their tiny NY apartment and we moved to New Jersey. Dad commuted and got his MBA at NYU during some long, late nights.
Fast forward to 1972 when dad’s job at Johns-Manville relocated the whole company to Denver – and Dad decided to show us The West.
Our first summer we drove to the Grand Canyon and California … on the way –
he strapped a big burlap safari water bag on the front of our NEW red Dodge Station Wagon to cross the Mojave Desert – in case we ran out of water or the car broke down.
Later trips got easier – to Yellowstone, the Tetons, Ghost Ranch, Chaco Canyon & more
Dad learned to embraced mom’s social activism, attended marches and watched us grow up.
Then in 1982 he retired “EARLY” and my parents started travelling abroad – mostly with Elder Hostel on educational style trips to Egypt, Greece, France …
And even The Hague for the World Peace Conference on mom’s 79th birthday.
When mom passed away 14 years ago he began his last chapter – learning to live alone, entertaining his grandchildren and our extended family, volunteering for the Colorado Coalition and making new friends –
So many of you here today, and at Harvard Square and finally at Sunrise Senior Living.
This is when he rose to the role of a great old man – sharp witted and a generous soul to the end. A great light and inspiration to us all… who will continue to shine brightly in our lives.