Peter Lane Snyder, 90, of Bernhards Bay, passed away in the morning on April 24, 2023, in Syracuse at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Peter was born in the same city and spent much of his youth in Central New York, where he met and married Joyce Howard. Together, they had three children and led a beautiful life all along the east coast. Peter was a talented craftsman in the field of carpentry. Among his many jobs as a skilled wood worker, he built cabinets and was a boatwright and boat builder, designing and creating a variety of boats, including cigarette and fishing boats. In Virginia, while working as a boat repairman for Pitts and Sons, Inc., Peter was hailed in a local newspaper on September 28, 1983: “He is an award winning boat designer and craftsman, whose work far surpasses others in this area. In fact, some people ask Snyder to do special cabinet work in the off-season.” Most endearingly, after finally settling into their house in New York, Peter gutted and remodeled the house several times. He finished the stairs, laid down new wood floors, crafted all new kitchen cabinets, and built and rebuilt the house from the floorboards up until it transformed into the home of Joyce’s dreams. In his retirement, it was in the backyard of this very house that Peter continued to spend his life doing what he loved most. He built a hub for his telescope, lingering outside late into the night to gaze at dark country skies. He hiked in the woods and along the streams. He built a tree fort for his youngest son. Over the long years, this backyard became a beloved place to his children and grandchildren—because it’s where he helped craft the most beautiful thing of all: many wonderful, adventurous, and oftentimes hilarious memories. The importance of this place might be why, when Peter was bound to a wheelchair during his last few years, he built model wooden airplanes on a little table in front of a window overlooking the backyard. Of all the things he was, Peter was, above all, a loving and generous husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. It’s difficult to recall a moment when there wasn’t a smile on his face or laughter in his eyes. His heart seemed to be filled, always, with unyielding love and joy. Even in his most difficult hours, Peter found a way to build happiness and hope—in his own heart and in the hearts of all those around him. It’s impossible to capture a life like his in words, but if you’re lucky enough to have been gifted with the opportunity to cross paths with Peter Lane Snyder, you know that his life was nothing less than extraordinary.
Peter is preceded in passing by his beloved wife Joyce Snyder, sister Rosemary VanderVeer, and brother-in-law Jack VanderVeer. He is survived by his three children, Pete (Kathy) Snyder, Jessica (Paul) Cassidy, and Timothy (Trish) Snyder; nine grandchildren, Brianne Nessmiller, Emily Meyers, Marie Madak, Julia Sentman, Shane Cassidy, Amanda DeMauro, Scarlett Yaddow, Fiona Snyder, and Vanessa Snyder; five great-grandchildren, Elaina, Mason, Niko, Allison, and TBD; sister-in-law Jeanie Gravlin; nieces Heather and Tina, and family; nephews John, Robert, and Peter, and family; and long-time neighbors and friends, Diane and Greg. Services will be held on June 4th with family and friends at Peter’s home in Bernhards Bay.
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