Rev. Richard "Dick" Snyder
Carson City - On Sunday, June 20, 2021, Richard H. Snyder of Carson City, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully with his wife Debra by his side.
Richard is survived by his wife Debra, his sister Mary Bufton Snyder of Burbank, CA, his cousin David Bufton Snyder (Lori) of Ontario, Canada, sister-in-law Dr. Michele Mietus-Snyder, MD, and her sons Michael (Erin), Matthew, Gregory, and the newest member of the family: Michael and Erin's son Cameron John Snyder.
Richard was born in Bakersfield, CA on November 22, 1946, to David and Margaret Snyder and was raised in Delano, CA. He graduated from Delano High School and continued his education at Bakersfield College and California State University, San Jose where he graduated. In 2001 he entered the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 2004. He was ordained priest in 2005.
While working for the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), he met Debra McDonald, a pharmacy technician also working for NDOC. They were married in 1997. When people asked where they met, Richard always smiled and said, "in prison". He liked to say it either started or stopped a conversation. They made Carson City their home but also lived happily in Brigham City, UT, Bluff, UT and Farmington, NM.
In 2008, Dick began serving full time as a priest in Navajoland, an Episcopal Church Area Mission in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, contiguous with the Navajo Nation. His love for the people and church in Navajoland started years earlier when Bishop Wes Frensdorff planted the seed that Dick should go to Navajoland. He did and the rest, as they say, is history. That seed blossomed into friendships, commitments, a desire to share with the wider church the possibilities and realities of a growing church, a chance to "embrace the opportunity" of what could happen, being present with the people and ultimately becoming family.
Dick was a writer, journalist, and photographer for most of his life. He reported and photographed stories starting in high school. He covered General Conventions for the Episcopal Church including major ecumenical events and was a contributor of numerous articles to Episcopal Life (national church publication) beginning with its first issue in 1990. Over the past decade he has also provided articles for publication in Episcopal Journal. He edited diocesan newspapers and contributed to local newspapers.
Dick had a varied career working in northern Nevada, including mining in Battle Mountain, city government and the Elko Daily Free Press in Elko and public relations in Winnemucca. Prior to his ordination, he was active in many church communities, such as St. Paul's, Virginia City, St. Michael's, Wadsworth, St. Mary's, Nixon, St. John's, Glenbrook, St. George's, Austin and Holy Trinity, Fallon.
Richard retired in December of 2020 from the NDOC. He had been serving as the supervising chaplain for the Department and as chaplain at Warm Springs Correctional Center. During 2020, he served as chaplain for the Nevada Assembly for two special sessions. He also continued to serve as chaplain for the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial.
A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 2:00 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church in Glenbrook, NV. If you would like to attend virtually, please provide contact information for a Zoom link at [email protected]
A very, grateful thank you goes out to all who provided excellent care with compassion to Richard these past months: Dr. Phil Aldrich, MD, the staff at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, the staff at the Carson Tahoe Oncology Center (Dr. John Kelly, MD, the Ambulatory Infusion Center staff and oncology Nurse Navigators), the staff at Carson Tahoe Transitional Rehabilitative Center, the staff at Kindred at Home and the staff and paramedics with the Carson City Fire Department.
Published by The Reno Gazette Journal and Lyon County News Leader from Jun. 29 to Jul. 1, 2021.