James Snyder (1938 - 2017)

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HUBER HEIGHTS — James Richard Snyder, Sr. "Jim", age 79 of Huber Heights, passed away surrounded by family and friends on September 18, 2017. He was born April 6, 1938 in Continental, OH to the late Archibald and Frances Snyder. In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Harry Chakeres and best friends, Don Fitzgerald, Ray Fredette, and Lee Roesner.

He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Mary V. Snyder (nee Chakeres); sons, James R. (Rebecca) Snyder Jr. and Karl (Heather) Snyder; daughter, Katrina Taylor; "adopted" children, Collette (Eric) Horstman and Amy Jennings-Montico; grandchildren, Robin Murnahan, Nate (Whitney Williams) Taylor, Miranda Taylor, Laurel Taylor, Stephanie Snyder, Gillian Snyder and Samantha (Joe Holmes) Mears; great-grandson, Oliver James Taylor; sisters-in-law, Doris Chakeres, Connie Chakeres and Dr. Sandi Chakeres; brother & sister-in-law, Michael and Josie Chakeres; close friends, Joe & Debra Lusczek, Duane Shields, Shirley Marrow , Jan Fitzgerald, Barbara Fredette and numerous other extended family and friends.

Jim excelled in the aerospace field for almost 60 years and was doing the work that he loved to the end of his life. He began his career at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1958 as a Co-operative Program student from the University of Cincinnati. After retiring from the Base, he continued to support the Air Force as a consultant and contractor. He was a one of a kind aerodynamicist, aircraft designer and analyst. He made many important advanced research contributions to the United States Air Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He contributed to the design and development specifications for the Air Force Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) AGM-68, the B-1 bomber, the F-15 and F-16 fighters, and the C-17 transport. During his career, he made innovative contributions to aircraft for high altitude reconnaissance, quiet operations, long endurance, hypersonic flight and special operations. He did advanced research in the areas of aircraft aerodynamic optimization, aero-propulsion integration, and stability and control. He did extensive aircraft design and propulsion integration research to show the benefits to fighter and transport aircraft of new engine technology over existing propulsion technology. He developed advanced aircraft configurations for many different applications. Weapons work included missile flight path control and guidance, missile fluidic stability and control and acoustics. He was an active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He authored many technical papers. Giving freely of his time, he was an advisor to the University of Cincinnati Department of Aerospace Engineering. He tutored students in mathematics, science and participated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities. He was the recipient of two Certificates of Recognition from NASA, the Affiliate Societies Council of Dayton Technical Leadership Award and the Department of the Air Force Outstanding Career Civilian Service Award. Jim was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honors Society.

A gathering of family and friends will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, October 14 at Newcomer Funeral Home, North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road in Dayton, Ohio, followed by a celebration of Jim's life beginning at 3 p.m. Dress is casual as he would have wanted (Jim was a "Parrot Head" so Hawaiian shirts are more than appropriate!).

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in Jim's honor to the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering Aerospace Department c/o The UC Foundation, 51 Goodman Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219. To leave a special message for the family, please visit

Funeral Home
Newcomer Funeral Homes - North Chapel
4104 Needmore Rd
Dayton, OH 45424
(937) 235-1000
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Published in Huber Heights Courier from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, 2017