Jan Snapper

February 8, 1933November 17, 2020

Holland, MI- Mr. Jan Snapper went to his heavenly home at the age of 87 on November 17, 2020 at his senior living home, American House, in Holland, MI. Jan was a member of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Holland. He moved to Holland in March of 2010 from Redlands, CA, where he had lived since 1971. He was born in the Netherlands on February 8, 1933 and emigrated to the USA in 1949 with his parents, one sister and four brothers. Having finished high school in The Hague, Jan enrolled at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA at the age of 16. He majored in Mathematics and upon graduation in 1953 he was drafted into the US Army, near the end of the Korean War, while he was still a registered alien. While he was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, he became a US citizen in Louisville, KY on the first Veterans Day on November 11, 1954. After being discharged in 1955, he taught General Science in a Christian High School for one year in Bellflower, CA. In 1956 Jan was hired by North American Aviation (Autonetics Division) in Downey, CA, and later in Anaheim, as a Research Engineer while continuing his graduate studies in Systems Engineering at UCLA and UC Irvine until 1967. Jan then transferred to TRW Systems Corp., first in Redondo Beach, CA and then at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, CA. In 1970 Jan received the NASA Manned Flight Awareness (Snoopy) Award from the three Apollo 13 astronauts, who were grateful to the TRW engineers who had contributed to their survival of a critical in-flight power failure. Soon after the end of the cold war in November 1992, Jan retired from TRW as a Senior Guidance & Control Project Engineer on the MX Peacekeeper and Small ICBM Missile programs. Jan was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Theresa, in 2003, his youngest son Eric (43) in 2009, his brother Casey in 1976, and his brother Hans in 2015. He is survived by one son, Mike (Amy), of Lake Mills, WI, one daughter, Nancy (Cal) TenHarmsel of Holland, MI, and six grandchildren: Greg, Josh, Ryan and Casey Snapper, Lauren (Jake) Verhey and Taylor (Tyler) Van Noord. He is also survived by two brothers, Johan (Gerda) of Pleasant Hill, CA and Henry (Marcia) of Long Beach, CA, as well as sister-in-law Jan Snapper and sister Jerry Faber of Wilmore, KY. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Hillside Memorial Park, 1540 Alessandro Road in Redlands, CA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimers Association.



  • A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Hillside Memorial Park, 1540 Alessandro Road in Redlands, CA.

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Gail Rooks

November 20, 2020

Nancy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad.
He was such a nice sweet man. I enjoyed getting to know him when I went to see my mom, Bunny. I also always enjoyed seeing you.
Its tough losing a parent. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Gail Hovenga Rooks


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