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60th reunion held by Snyder family

By Carol Sones Shelter - | Aug 25, 2021

photo provided Descendants of the William Lewis and Viola (Steffen) Snyder, 61 in number, gathered at Sunnybrook Park near Danville to mark their 60th reunion on August 7, 2021.

DANVILLE – Mention the name Snyder, and almost everyone will know someone by that name. Just to make a point, we checked the 2018 phone book for the Muncy vicinity and found a listing of 61 with the Snyder surname.

Prolific is a good description for this Snyder family as the couple in question, William Lewis and Viola (Steffen) Snyder, brought 15 children into the world at their farm near Northumberland. Who better to keep the family record than descendant Nancy (Snyder) Springman, a retiree of the Muncy School District’s business office. Proficient at record keeping, Nancy supplied us with photos and history along with emitting a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

The reason given for the initial reunion in 1961 was due to the death of Syrle Y. Snyder, causing the remaining four of the 15 to gather. Survivors included, Melvin Roy Snyder, Mildred Daisy Snyder Bell, Rena Almira Snyder Quick, all of Northumberland and Chauncey Snyder of Elysburg.

At the beginning, a total of 112 persons attended the 1961 reunion at Sunnybrook Park near Danville, where all reunions were held with the exception of years 1983 through 2013, when the Montour Preserve was the site.

Reunion president Terry Snyder Sr., of Ocala, Florida, along with other committee members, prepared for the momentous occasion by conducting a contest for a tee-shirt design. The contest was won by Jeremy Sattison of Montgomery. The shirts were worn during the group photo having been printed with the Snyder name, noting its 60th year, along with logos of the two meeting places, the Preserve and Sunnybrook.

Terry Snyder, Sr., of Florida, Snyder reunion president (left), stands by Kenneth Snyder, 91, of Exchange, eldest descendant present.

This year on August 7, with temperatures near 90 degrees, 62 family members met. Honored as the eldest was Kenneth Snyder, age 91, of Exchange, son of Syrle and Blanche Snyder’s 14 children. Ken is the last surviving of eight brothers who served in World War II and the Korean War. “Each year we have a poster with family who’d served our country and we honor all our veterans,” Nancy said.

Paisley Nicole Kulka, the 12 week-old daughter of Taylor Kulka, of Montgomery, was the youngest in attendance.

Brady Snyder’s widow, Sylvia (Coup) Snyder, gave a generous donation in her husband’s memory to use in continuing the reunions. Brady was instrumental in providing much of the Snyder genealogy and was always supportive of the reunions and Snyder breakfasts held monthly since 2001, until the pandemic curtailed gatherings. Plans are to revive the breakfasts in the near future.

Officers serving for the 2021 year were: Terry Snyder, Sr., president, Florida; Robert Snyder, vice president, Pennsdale; Carla Auten, treasurer, Muncy; Mark Snyder, assistant treasurer, Muncy; Kelly Newman, secretary, Exchange; Nancy Snyder Springman, assistant secretary, Muncy; and Laurie Young Gentzel of Millville, in charge of games.

Viola (Steffen) Snyder (1859-1916)

William Lewis Snyder (1849-1922)

Deemed the youngest at 12-weeks was Paisley Nicole, daughter of Taylor Kulka, Montgomery.