Farming Rural 07

Gerald W Snyder

February 3, 1932 ~ December 31, 2020 (age 88)



Gerald Snyder
Remembering Gerald Wayne (Jerry) Snyder

88, a lifelong resident of South Lake County, departed this life with family present on December 31, 2020 while under care at Franciscan Health Crown Point. He had entered the hospital on Christmas Day, coming from his recent home at Park Place of St. John, a senior living community. Jerry struggled from the effects of Type 2 Diabetes most of his adult life, including other medical issues associated with this tragic metabolic disease. This struggle, which certainly contributed to his final demise, did not prevent him from living a long and very full life.

Jerry was born on February 3, 1932 to Lawrence (Sy) and Edith Snyder, who farmed in Hebron, IN and later along Route 2 southwest of Lowell, IN. He attended elementary school in West Creek Township, then Lowell Jr. and Sr. High Schools, graduating in 1950. After graduating, he worked on farms in the area until entering the U.S. Army in 1954, where he served in the Signal Corps at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA before deployment to Germany as a Field Radio Repairman. He earned a National Defense Service Medal for his time overseas.

After an honorable discharge from the military in 1956, Jerry married M. Joyce Bradley at Range Line Presbyterian Church in Eagle Creek Township. He became active in the church’s Men’s Club, and fondly participated in the Oyster Stew dinner and other gatherings the club sponsored at that time. Jerry and family lived on Burnham Street, Apache Lane, and Austin Street in Lowell over the years. Jerry worked his entire career with Illinois Bell Telephone, later known as Indiana Bell, then Ameritech and finally AT&T. He took great pride in being able to share publicly the educational films and other materials made available by the company in the early days of his employment. In 1991 Jerry married Laura Carnegie of Merrillville and the two lived along the “Nine-Mile Stretch” (Grant Street) in Lowell for nearly 30 years.

Jerry spent his life committed to farming as an avocation at different levels. Most notably, he was a leader of the West Creek Wonder Workers 4-H club, in which he had also participated as a youth, and he served as a 4-H Superintendent at the Lake County Fair. Altogether, Jerry volunteered for over 30 years as a 4-H leader. Several years were also spent as the Swine and Sheep Superintendent of the open class shows at the fair. Jerry also enjoyed raising hogs on a small scale (a 4-H project that got out of hand), designing an innovative rotational grazing system that became popular in the country decades later. In his latter years, he became an avid fan of farming exhibits and shows of all sorts, as well as a keen observer of how the corn looked each year in Northwest Indiana.

Jerry had an inquisitive mind and loved to tinker with everything, even to a fault at times. Once, on a family trip to Washington, DC, he was detained for questioning following a tour of the FBI Building because he “asked so many good and probing questions.” His family was both proud and a little horrified. He was also a talented fisherman, enjoying the last part of his life where he could employ that skill from a backyard dock. He and wife Laura were enthusiastic travelers and spent many winters with an RV in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Central Florida during their retirement.

Jerry is survived by his wife Laura Snyder of Lowell, ex-wife M. Joyce Mangiaracina (Richard) of Ashburn, VA, his three children Brian Snyder (Paula) of State College, PA, Darryl Snyder (Katherine) of Moline, IL, and Lori Snyder of Ashburn, VA, as well as stepchildren Lisa Newcomb (John) of Lowell and Scott Carnegie of Bolingbrook, IL. He is also survived by his sisters Carol Lear of St. John and LaVerne Foust of South Bend, IN. Jerry leaves 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Phillip Snyder of Kouts, IN and sister Shirley Todd of Sandwich, IL.

Private Interment will be at Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso near his brother Phillip on Saturday, January 9, at 2:00 pm (CST). Because of Covid-19 and the need to limit participants, the Graveside Service will be PRIVATE, by invitation only and Live Streamed at Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services Facebook Page.  An online album will be available on the funeral home’s website.  The family plans to hold a memorial service later, once public health conditions have eased.

The family requests NO FLOWERS, memorials are encouraged to the brand-new Lake County 4-H Endowment, After indicating an amount, please check the “This gift is in honor or memory of someone” box, enter Gerald Wayne Snyder there, then enter “Lake County 4-H Endowment” in the Gift Notes box. The Snyder family is honored that these will be the very first memorial donations made to this fund.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald W Snyder, please visit our floral store.


January 9, 2021

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