Published: Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Gene V. Snyder was born Aug. 23, 1933, in Woodbine, Iowa, to Jack and Cleo (Nelson) Snyder. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1952.
In 1956 he met the love of his life, Joan Buzard, while both were serving in Corpus Christi, Texas. They were married Oct. 5, 1956. Gene served as a radioman aboard many ships and in many duty stations including the Pentagon for the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in special communications. Gene retired from the Navy in 1972 and returned to his home with his family in Woodbine. He then began a second career as a Veterans’ Administration benefits counselor, first in Des Moines, Iowa, then at University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and finally transferring to the VA in Hot Springs, S.D. In 1982 he retired from the VA and he and Joan moved to Custer, S.D.
In Custer, Gene enjoyed driving his 4-wheeler through the beautiful Black Hills with his friends. He was also an avid Ham radio operator. Later in life he and Joan hit the road in their RV and traveled throughout Texas, Utah and Arizona. They ended their roaming to settle on the warmth of Arizona sunshine in Casa Grande. In 2008 they returned to South Dakota to be closer to their family and made their home in Summerset.
Gene was a lifetime member of VFW Post 3442, American Legion Post 0311, Disabled American Veterans, Fleet Reserve Association and The Retired Enlisted Association.
Gene died Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at Custer Senior Care with family by his side. He was 79.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and his brother John.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joan Snyder (Buzard); sons, Mark (Candy) Snyder of Custer, Brain Snyder of Hot Springs, and Scott Snyder of Black Hawk (S.D.) daughters, Michelle Danielsen of Cedar Falls, Linda (Loren) Mohr of Custer and Kelly (Jim) Thomas of Rapid City, S.D.; 24 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 15, at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City with Pastor Steve Wagner officiating. Inurnment with military honors by TREA Chapter 29 will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D. A luncheon will be served at TREA at 1981 E. Center St. in Rapid City following the committal service.
In lieu of flowers, consider contributions to Operations Black Hills Cabin.
Family and friends may sign Gene’s online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com
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