On Thursday, December 31, 2020, William Lee Snyder, Jr., of Green Camp, closed his eyes on this earth and opened them in Heaven following a 2 ½ week illness with COVID.
“Bill Junior”, as his mother called him, entered this world on June 22, 1948, in Marion. He was blessed with two siblings, Janis Lynn and Donnie Ray. At a young age, Bill set his mind on making goals with the support and encouragement of his mother. Among his achievements were being president of the student council at Marion Harding high school class of 1967. He sang in the dance band “Stardusters” and played “Curly” in the musical “Oklahoma”. He was also a member of Harding’s acapella choir. Many of his classmates remember his smile, laughter and kindness.
In July of 1967 Bill entered the US Army serving the next three years and reaching the rank of Sergeant. From 1968-1969 he fought in the jungles of Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division, Golden Dragons earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
In 1974, Bill enrolled at Marion Technical College receiving an Associate’s Degree in sales and marketing management. He was employed at Marion Power Shovel a short time doing inventory. Following in his father’s footsteps, a job opened up in 1972 with the US Postal Service and he served there for the next 34 years. Bill worked his way up in various postal positions retiring as Postmaster at the Raymond US Post Office in 2006. He married Petra Snyder on May 4, 1991.
On the battlefields of Vietnam, Bill made a promise to God that if God would bring him home safe, he would serve him. Thirty years later, Bill did keep that promise when he felt God calling him. At the age of 50, he enrolled in a 3 year lay pastor training program through the American Baptist Association in Granville, Ohio.
Over the years, both Bill and his wife Petra have had the privilege of serving at the Prospect Baptist Church and presently at the West Mansfield Baptist Church. While attending church services, you could always count on a big “Amen!” from him.
Being a proud veteran, Bill helped establish Veterans Park in Marion. He also helped start Firebase 105, a Vietnam veterans’ group. He served as post commander of VFW Post 7201 earning a “white hat”.
Presently, he was a YMCA water aerobics instructor and an American Red Cross Blood donor.
He was a member of the Meeker Sportsman Club, West Mansfield Baptist Church, Marion Bible Fellowship, and attended All Souls Church in Green Camp. He was also very much involved in Vacation Bible School.
Bill and his friend, Harold Cooper put together a program that they called Citizens for the Constitution. They characterized themselves as General George Washington whom Bill portrayed and Benjamin Franklin, portrayed by Harold. A historical seamstress in Fremont fashioned their attire to period clothing. They sponsored programs that focused on explaining the purpose and establishment of our Constitution and how important voting rights are.
Their talks included many Marion City schools, Marion County schools, club organizations, a Memorial Day service in Waldo, and the Marion County fair.
He was a man of many passions serving his Lord, his communities, and his country. He always lived his life to the fullest demanding only the very best from himself. He loved people and treated everyone like they were brothers and sisters, always willing to lend a helping hand.
Bill had many favorite hobbies, some of those being singing, bicycling; especially at the Tallgrass Trails in Marion, fly fishing, deer hunting with his bow or gun, shooting at targets; even making some of the bullets, and traveling. Some of his travel adventures included destinations like the Caribbean, England, Europe, Vietnam, Israel, Ireland, and Alaska. One of his favorite places to go was Grand Marias in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
He loved to take day trips to Amish Country and enjoyed all of his families get togethers. He was fond of watching football no matter who was playing; to him it wasn’t about what teams, he just enjoyed watching a good game. He did of course have his favorite teams like the Ohio State Buckeyes and he was a die-hard fan of the Cleveland Browns.
He also loved watching baseball; his favorite team being the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. He enjoyed attending an occasional Columbus Clippers game.
His passion for being a Shepherd and feeding his sheep demonstrates his love for God and Gods people. As he would often preach “we must not just talk the talk but walk the walk,” and Bill did just that through his obedience to God. By following God’s call, he fulfilled his destiny here on earth, used the gifts that God gave him and is now serving in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. He was a good and faithful servant.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Petra Veronika Snyder; step-son Cory Ray Snyder of Marion; grandson Payton Lee Snyder of Marion; great granddaughter Paisley Grace Haley; sister Janis Lynn (Norris) Tangeman of Bellville; nieces: Julie Carroll and son Ben Carroll of Wadsworth, Jodie Borchers and her daughter Amelia Borchers and son Jack Borchers; aunt Donna and John Fry of LaRue; mother and father-in-law Charlotte and Siegmund Sonnenberg of Marion; brother-in-law Mike Chapman of Waldo; sisters-in-law: Terry (Todd) Mitchell of Waldo, Sharon (Bill) Foster of Marion, and Karen Beidler of Waldo; 10 nieces and nephews; 19 great nieces and great nephews; many cousins including the Barkley family, Mills family, Crider family and Chapman family; special friends: Mike Harden, Harold and Joyce Cooper, Phil and Deb Bates and Billy and Sharon Houston.
Please keep the Snyder family in your prayers.