OBITUARY

Elmer Emmerson Snyder

August 13, 1923April 24, 2021
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Elmer E. Snyder, 97, AMCS, USN (Ret.) passed away April 26, 2021. He was born August 13, 1923 to Dale and Maude (Hart) Snyder in South Dakota. The family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan when he was seven. He quickly developed a taste for watermelon and strawberries occasionally procured under the cover of darkness from nearby farms. He lived there until he joined the Navy in 1940. He served as an Aviation Mechanic in the Pacific during WWII. He was a plank owner on the aircraft carriers USS Essex and the USS Randolph. During a 1945 port visit to Baltimore, his division chief introduced his niece Dorothy to Elmer on the flight deck of the USS Randolph. Dorothy and Elmer married in 1946.

After WWII he also served in Japan during the Korean War, and in Key West, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He worked on every aircraft the Navy had up to the Phantom II. Mr. Snyder made Chief in 1954, when that was the highest enlisted rank possible. When the ranks of Senior and Master Chief were opened in 1958, he advanced to Senior Chief. He retired after 23 years and joined the Army civil service as a helicopter mechanic and inspector. As an inspector he had to fly in every helicopter, something he loved and Dorothy hated. The last helicopter he worked on was the Blackhawk. After 20 years, he retired again. This time it stuck and he enjoyed many happy years with his family and friends.

When Elmer and Dorothy transferred to California from Japan, they acquired a parakeet. Anyone who entered the home was greeted by the parakeet with “Want a cup of coffee?” Throughout their lives, they loved their coffee, and especially the conversation and company that came with it.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gail and Dale Snyder; two sisters, Velma Stillman and Helen Blake and his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Snyder. He is survived by two sons, Glen T. (Linda) Snyder, and James M. (Martha) Snyder; two grandsons, David and Jeffrey Snyder; three great-granddaughters, Gillian, Ashley, and Shelby; his youngest sibling and sister, Thurvia Williams; friend of over 50 years, Delores Hill; several friends and many nieces and nephews.

He is remembered for his storytelling; his love of aircraft and automotive mechanics, football, cherry and apple pies; the coffee was on and the door was open; his big hugs; and his wit. Most of all, he is remembered for the way he lived his life with humility, dignity, honesty, and love. Thank you for all you shared with us. Fair winds and a following sea.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on May 6, 2021 at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Graveside Service will be held on May 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Princess Anne Memorial Park, 1110 N. Great Neck Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

  • DONATIONS

  • In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fleet Reserve Association.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 6, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, May 7, 2021

Memories

Elmer Emmerson Snyder

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Dana Furlong

May 1, 2021

Mr. Snyder, you are going to be missed dearly! I loved taking care of you over the last 2 years! Your sense of humor, love of story telling, caring attitude, and charm will definitely be missed around the halls and dining room of The Gardens of Virginia Beach! May you Rest In Peace sweet man! Until we meet again.

My prayers go out to the entire Snyder family! Your father was the light at The Gardens! Thank you for sharing him with us over the last 2 years.

Suzanne Sechen

April 29, 2021

Jim, so very sorry about the loss of your Dad. Thinking about you and Martha.

Ruchita Patel

April 29, 2021

Jim,
I am so sorry to learn of your father's passing. I hope you are doing okay and please let me know if there is anything I can do.
Ruchita

Lou Tate Walker

April 29, 2021

How I loved sitting at your kitchen table listening to your stories. I am sadden to hear you have passed. To all the family I hope your memories of this kind father will help you through these tough days.

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Biography

Elmer E. Snyder, 97, AMCS, USN (Ret.) passed away April 26, 2021. He was born August 13, 1923 to Dale and Maude (Hart) Snyder in South Dakota. The family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan when he was seven. He quickly developed a taste for watermelon and strawberries occasionally procured under the cover of darkness from nearby farms. He lived there until he joined the Navy in 1940. He served as an Aviation Mechanic in the Pacific during WWII. He was a plank owner on the aircraft carriers USS Essex and the USS Randolph. During a 1945 port visit to Baltimore, his division chief introduced his niece Dorothy to Elmer on the flight deck of the USS Randolph. Dorothy and Elmer married in 1946.

After WWII he also served in Japan during the Korean War, and in Key West, Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He worked on every aircraft the Navy had up to the Phantom II. Mr. Snyder made Chief in 1954, when that was the highest enlisted rank possible. When the ranks of Senior and Master Chief were opened in 1958, he advanced to Senior Chief. He retired after 23 years and joined the Army civil service as a helicopter mechanic and inspector. As an inspector he had to fly in every helicopter, something he loved and Dorothy hated. The last helicopter he worked on was the Blackhawk. After 20 years, he retired again. This time it stuck and he enjoyed many happy years with his family and friends.

When Elmer and Dorothy transferred to California from Japan, they acquired a parakeet. Anyone who entered the home was greeted by the parakeet with “Want a cup of coffee?” Throughout their lives, they loved their coffee, and especially the conversation and company that came with it.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gail and Dale Snyder; two sisters, Velma Stillman and Helen Blake and his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Snyder. He is survived by two sons, Glen T. (Linda) Snyder, and James M. (Martha) Snyder; two grandsons, David and Jeffrey Snyder; three great-granddaughters, Gillian, Ashley, and Shelby; his youngest sibling and sister, Thurvia Williams; friend of over 50 years, Delores Hill; several friends and many nieces and nephews.

He is remembered for his storytelling; his love of aircraft and automotive mechanics, football, cherry and apple pies; the coffee was on and the door was open; his big hugs; and his wit. Most of all, he is remembered for the way he lived his life with humility, dignity, honesty, and love. Thank you for all you shared with us. Fair winds and a following sea.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on May 6, 2021 at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Graveside Service will be held on May 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Princess Anne Memorial Park, 1110 N. Great Neck Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia.