COLCHESTER, CT - Richard Allyne Snyder, 90, of Colchester, CT, passed away peacefully on Tuesday November 2, 2021, after a typically active day: voting, going to the dentist and taking a walk on his favorite trail.
Richard was born in Oxford MA, on May 15, 1931, to the late Harriet (Marsh) and Fredrick Snyder. He was predeceased by siblings Shirley Snyder, Betty Stevens, and Warren Snyder, and son-in-law, Scott Mackler. Richard was the beloved husband and dancing partner of Loraine (Stelmach) Snyder for nearly 62 years, lovingly caring for her until her death in 2017. Together they enjoyed summers in Cape Cod, the UConn Huskies, USS Bennington reunions, gardening, and exercise.
Richard was a lifelong sports fan; he loved the UConn Huskies, the Giants and then Patriots, and his favorite, the Red Sox. At 6 a.m. on the morning after the 2004 World Series win, he arrived festooned with Sox garb and bearing T-shirts for everyone! Richard’s love of sports was rooted in his childhood, and he was delighted when he and the 1949 undefeated Oxford High School boys’ basketball team were inducted into the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame. He was patriotic and loved parades and a straightforward rendering of the National Anthem. A proud crew member of the USS Bennington during the Korean War era, he served in the Navy and was on board on May 26, 1954, when an accidental explosion resulted in 103 fatalities. Richard retired from Pratt & Whitney after 30 years, as a General Foreman.
Richard and Loraine were wonderful hosts as their house served as a gathering point for old friends and especially for the friends of their kids, who always seemed to land there after school or basketball games. Richard was the life of the party, and he could (and did) talk to anyone. He reveled in family gatherings as they joined from far and wide for Christmas, weddings, and yes, even funerals.
Richard’s garden produced an abundance of green beans, zucchini, tomato, and zinnia. He was incessantly fit, rollerblading and biking, roof raking and rototilling well into his 80’s! He was a good neighbor and cheerful over-talker. After becoming patriarch of the extended Snyder family following the deaths of his brother and brother-in-law two decades ago, he could always be counted on to “show up.” He leaves many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Richard was a loving father to Lynn Snyder-Mackler (Michael Axe), Kurt Snyder (Kathleen), and Jane Snyder DeMaio (Paul). He set an example of commitment and hard work and instilled a love of nature. He cherished his grandchildren Kris Snyder (Jess), Alexander Mackler (Laura), Noah Snyder-Mackler (Kelsey Lucca), and Jackie and Aaron DeMaio. With Loraine, he cared for each one as babies, showered them with closets full of Hess trucks, and taught them all to love the beach, make drip castles, and body surf. His great grandchildren Sam, Sadie, Sawyer, and Bridget were a delight, bringing joy to his later years. He was looking forward to meeting his new great-granddaughter who is due to arrive in January.
Richard’s independence was facilitated by Claudia Maistrelis and Barbara Ryan, who lovingly kept him in line. We are grateful for their commitment and support. We would also like to thank the many friends, neighbors, and community members who befriended and supported Richard over the years.
Richard, Richie, Dad, Grandpa, Great Grandpa Richie – you loved us dearly and that will sustain us now and forever.
A memorial service celebrating Richards’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of donations or flowers, take a walk, plant a garden, talk to a stranger, or hit that next perfect wave.