Gary Lee Snyder
- Published: October 13, 2016
Gary Lee Snyder died July 12 at his home in Yellow Springs. He had struggled with health issues for the last couple of years. He was 67 years old.
The son of Warner Leroy and Mania Estelle Snyder, Gary was born in Dayton, Ohio, on Feb. 18, 1949. After his father died, in 1960, he moved to Yellow Springs to live with his grandmother.
He attended Yellow Springs High School but dropped out in his junior year to join the U.S. Army. He later received his G.E.D. He was initially stationed in Germany, where he had a high security clearance and worked on missiles. He was then sent to Vietnam, serving in the infantry in the Mekong Delta. That experience weighed heavily on him for the remainder of his life. After being honorably discharged in 1969, he went to work for the San Jose (Calif.) Water District, monitoring water flow from the Sierra Nevadas to Northern California. He also worked as a foreign car mechanic in San Francisco and was on the road crew for some San Francisco-area bands, including It’s a Beautiful Day.
He returned to Yellow Springs in 1992, and was well known in town for his skills as an auto mechanic. He could get just about anything up and running, including a number of classic automobiles that he lovingly restored. He was knowledgeable about the natural world, an amateur botanist and an avid, and successful, hunter of morel mushrooms. He usually brought home the bounty when others came back from the hunt with empty bags. Gary was highly principled, complicated and sometimes contrary, but he had a good heart and inspired loyalty among his friends, and affection. He was devoted to his canine companion, LP, who survives him.
Gary’s ashes will be interred on Friday, Oct. 21, 2 p.m., at the Dayton National Cemetery, 4400 W. Third St. in Dayton. A processional to the cemetery, escorted by the Ohio Patriot Guard, will depart from the Bryan Community Center at 1 p.m. Those wishing to participate are asked to meet at the Bryan Center at 12:30 p.m. Following the interment, a wake will be held at one of Gary’s favorite local haunts, The Gulch on Dayton Street.