Chester Melvin Snyder, age 86, passed away on Wednesday, November 29, 2006, after a valiant battle with heart disease and cancer.
Chester was born in New York City, New York, February 11, 1920, to Rae and Louis J. Snyder. He was raised in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. He graduated from Austin High School in 1937. He attended the University of Texas at Austin graduating in 1941. While at the University, he was a member of Tau Delta Phi fraternity. Chester served in the U.S. Navy attaining the rank of Lieutenant. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during World War II on the destroyer escort, The Lee Fox. In 1945, after the war, he joined the family business, Snyder's Smart Shop (later renamed Snyder-Chenards) on Congress Avenue. He was instrumental in the major expansion of the company business in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. Upon retirement from retail, he embarked on a 24-year career in commercial real estate at McAllister and Associates. Chester was very active in Temple Beth Israel serving as vice president, and he worked with other charitable organizations including Bnai Brith Men, Temple Brotherhood, United Way and Child & Family Services.
He also participated in the early civil rights movement in Austin. Chester and Bernard, along with their father, helped integrate the retail community in Austin, including hiring the first African American sales force and opening their stores to all minorities. He was also involved with the Rotary Club, Jaycees, the City of Austin Economic Development Commission, the Human Relations Commission, and the first City Auditorium committee.
Chester is survived by Tina, his beloved wife of over 37 years; brother Bernard Snyder and wife, Hermyne; daughter Leslie Axelrod and husband Nathan of Dallas, daughter, Allison Snyder Long and husband Charles of Houston; son, Marcus Perry Snyder of Estes Park, Colorado; granddaughter Lauren Axelrod Tims and husband Scott of Dallas; granddaughter Rebecca G. Long of Houston; grandson Robert Samuel Long of Houston; great granddaughter Gabriella Axelrod Garcia of Dallas; nieces Donna Snyder Donohue, Teri Lindauer and Kim Snyder; great-niece Amy Belden; and great nephews Darren & Ryan Donohue.
Serving Mr. Snyder as pallbearers are Robert Erlich Jr., Jim Cotton, Joe McAllister, Bill Oates, Bill Blood and Robert Samuel Long.
Serving Mr. Snyder as honorary pallbearers are Sanford Bauman, Dean Caswell, and McAllister & Associates.
Services will be held Sunday, December 3, 2006, 1:00 p.m. in the Colonial Chapel of Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas. A Graveside service will follow at Congregation Beth Israel II at Oakwood Cemetery with Rabbi Alan Freedman officiating.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to Hospice Austin's Christopher House, American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society or the Charity of your choice. [Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 12/2/2006.]
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A World War II veteran who attaining the rank of Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the destroyer escort, The Lee Fox. -
John Christeson Added: Dec. 2, 2006