John H. Snyder, 92, of Fultonville passed away in his sleep Thursday, February 13, at the Wilkinson Residential Health Care Facility in Amsterdam after spending the previous night surrounded by his loving family.
John was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam on September 3, 1921, to the late John Ceaton Wright Snyder and Caroline Marie Manska. He first smiled at two days old and laughed out loud four months later. His smile and laugh stayed with him and warmed many hearts the rest of his life.
He grew up in Amsterdam and spent most of his adolescence in his parents' home on VanDyke Avenue. John attended the Academy Avenue School and was a newspaper delivery boy for the Amsterdam Evening Recorder. While in high school, he went to work with his uncle, Ray Herrington, at Dean's Market on Lincoln Avenue. He graduated from Wilbur H. Lynch High School in June of 1939.
Soon after graduation, John was hired by the Mohawk Carpet Mills, where he worked as a shipping clerk and in payroll at the Lower Mill, where his father had worked for years as a foreman. In November 1940, John entered the General Electric Apprentice Program and studied to be a machinist. His first position was in general purpose control, where he earned 32 cents an hour. When the federal minimum wage was raised to 40 cents in 1945, he felt like a millionaire. After spending nearly 41 years with G.E., John retired as acting manager of advanced manufacturing in large motor generators on September 30, 1981.
John married first to June Irene Lang on December 11, 1943, at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Amsterdam. The two had met at a Halloween party in the town of Florida. In the early '50s, they moved to Mill Point to a home John built from the ground up. On June 12, 1981, June passed away. John remarried June 28, 1986, to Joanne (Kurtz) Clough in Guilderland. John and Joanne had met at a friend's camp on the Sacandaga Lake, where John also had a camp. After spending a number of years in Florida, they moved back to the area, living in Fultonville the previous twenty years. Joanne passed away October 20, 2013.
John was always known to be generous, helping anyone who needed a hand. He was known for his smile and his laugh as well as his woodworking, which he took up in retirement. Many decks in Fultonville were built by John, and dozens of families, near and far, have a hummingbird clock that John loved to make on his scroll saw. Hummingbirds were Joanne's favorite.
John is survived by three children, Nora Snyder of Minaville, Clifford (Joanne D'Amico) Snyder of Louisville, KY, and Clyde Snyder of Springfield, AR; five stepchildren, Byron (Audrey) Clough, Rebecca Clough, Melanie Clough Weitz of Fultonville, Kurt Clough of Charleston, and Paul (Barbara) Clough; four grandchildren, Jon (Constance) Daggett, Leslie (Steven) Pearson, Matthew (Natalia) Snyder, and Amy June Snyder; thirteen step- grandchildren, including William and Ryan Weitz, and Allyson, Allysia, and Allana Clough; five great-grandchildren; three great- great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and a longtime friend, Tommy Daggett of Perth. His parents, sisters Caroline Fisher and Dorothy Richey, and both wives predeceased him.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, June 6, at 11:00 am at Chuctanunda Cemetery in Minaville. All who were lucky enough to know John are welcome to attend.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Heritage & Genealogical Society of Montgomery County, P.O. Box 1500, Fonda, NY 12068.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Jackson and Betz Funeral Home, 15 Main St., Fultonville, NY 12072.