Deborah Jean “Deb” Snyder was born Nov. 8, 1953, second daughter to James Fleming Snyder Jr. and Marguerite Parker Snyder. Her first home was in Levittown, N.Y., one of our country’s first post-World War II planned communities. She graduated from Levittown Memorial High School in June 1971. She continued her education at Keene State College, earning a B.S. in special education and elementary education in May 1976. Afterward, she earned her M.Ed. in reading education from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Mich., in December 1979, where she served as Assistant Director of the Sage Student Union.
She first came to New Hampshire during the summer of 1956 when she was 2½ years old. On that trip, she climbed Mount Kearsarge, caught her first fish, swam in Pleasant Lake and lost her heart to all things New Hampshire. Elkins became a permanent home three days after graduating from high school.
Deb began a 35-year teaching career at Monadnock Regional Middle High School in Swanzey in February 1980. Special services was her vocation, loving what she taught and every student she provided services to, and often maintaining relationships with them years after they left or graduated. She served in a variety of student-centered roles during her tenure such as Class Advisor and Student Council Advisor. She also filled an assortment of roles within the Monadnock District Education Association hoping to improve working conditions for her colleagues.
She served as Lake Host on Swanzey Lake inspecting all sorts of watercraft for the transportation of various invasive water species. Being a Marine Patrol Officer allowed her to be outside, patrolling the numerous waterways in Cheshire County.
Every summer for many, many years Deb could be found performing the roles of The Apple Lady and Mrs. Richardson in Denman Thompson’s “The Old Homestead” at the Potash Bowl in Swanzey. Once she retired, she began volunteering at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center/Cheshire Medical Center at the information desk in the lobby. For a while Deb also served as Art Director, meeting with local artists and curating the bulletin boards in each floor’s lobby, providing visual stimulation for patients, staff and visitors. Once she retired, she became a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional organization of retired teachers.
Deb kept busy reveling in trips to lakes, mountains and her love, the shore towns along the New England seacoast, always traveling with friends and her camera. This led to her passion for paper crafting, particularly scrapbooking. She loved to garden, watching blossoms come and go from early spring until late fall. Cooking and entertaining family and friends began in her early teen years. Planning guest lists and researching recipes as well as watching her guests enjoying a good meal and each other brought significant pleasure.
Deb’s parents, and her older sister, Marguerite Snyder Cassidy, died earlier. She is survived by James and Marie Snyder of Sugar Hill, Jeannine Snyder of Westmoreland, Teresa and Eric Horne of Marlborough, and Michael Snyder and Kristen Sharpless of Stowe, Vt. She also leaves the loves of her life, two nephews and two nieces: Cory Snyder of Salzburg, Austria, Grace Horne of Davis, Calif., William Horne of Marlborough, and Arabella “Bella” Sharpless Snyder of Stowe, Vt. She also lost her lifetime best friend, Kathy Clune May “Cluney” of Levittown, N.Y.
A celebration of Deb’s life will be planned for the spring of 2022. Her ashes will be buried in the Elkins (N.H.) Cemetery in a private family ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, you are asked to plant a perennial in your garden, take a walk along the shore, or “Pay It Forward” as Deb loved to do.
Keep a piece of sea glass in your pocket and when your fingers happen across it, think of the good times you shared with Deb.
Fletcher Funeral Home of Keene has been entrusted with the arrangements. To express condolences or share a memory of Deb, please visit www.FletcherFuneralHome.com.