Snyder, William "Bill" Fortune SARATOGA SPRINGS William "Bill" Fortune Snyder passed away peacefully after a long illness on March 13, 2020. He was born in Scranton, Pa. on June 24, 1941, to Dorothy Hutchings and Robert Fortune Snyder. He was predeceased by his father, mother, sister Elizabeth; and daughter-in-marriage, Shannon. Bill is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 58 years, Patricia Di Benedetto Snyder; sons, George Fortune, William Severin (Mary), and Richard Bennett (Denise); grandchildren, Giovanna, Bennett, Josephine, and Corrine; his sister and brother in marriage, Michele Barbagallo (Peter) and Frank Benedetto (Michele); several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and many cousins and friends. Bill attended Blair Academy in New Jersey and Eastwood High School in Syracuse. He was known in Syracuse as Bill Fortune, radio host of Wheel of Fortune, producer of a Sherlock Holmes radio drama series and weatherman on WHEN-TV. He attended the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. He taught communications at Lemoyne College, was program manager at WCNY, Syracuse Public TV and a reporter for the Syracuse Herald Journal. He co-produced two Summer Theatre seasons in Camillus, N.Y. He was a member of Syracuse IATSE local and served as technical director for the first productions of the Syracuse Symphony Opera. He was a dedicated supporter of the Syracuse Symphony. After moving to the Capital District in 1967, he graduated from SUNY Albany in Theatre and Music with honors. He was a reporter, arts editor and news anchor at WRGB Channel 6 in Schenectady. While at WRGB, he produced a documentary on the SUNY Albany Children's Theatre's tour to Moscow, John Houseman's Premiere for The Empire State Youth Theatre Institute, and another on Eugene Ormandy and George Balanchine at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He donated his time and talent to the New York State Theatre Institute. He won an Audie, an Emmy and was a Trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Bill was invited to travel with Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller on several press engagements. Bill was deeply honored to serve Governor Hugh L. Carey as assistant press secretary, deputy press secretary, and director of communications from 1977 through 1983. Bill directed Governor Mario M. Cuomo's two inaugurations for television and was director of SUNY's New York Network until the time of his retirement. A resident of Saratoga Springs for 49 years, Bill renovated a historic home on North Broadway, which became one of the locations for the movies Ghost Story and Billy Bathgate. He co-established The Creative Place International, Inc. in Saratoga Springs, a not-for-profit theatre arts program for young people and adults in 2010. He co-produced Jeffrey Sweet's play, KUNSTLER Off-Broadway in 2017. Bill served as CPI chairman of the board for ten years. Bill's family is grateful to Dr. Desmond R. DelGiacco, Dr. Rodney Ying, Norman Bove, Saratoga Hospital, Dr. Nicholas Kondo, and Dr. Gloria Ethier for their exceptional care. A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Bill on September 26, at 11 a.m. in St. Clement's Church in Saratoga Springs. For those who cannot attend, Bill's funeral Mass will be livestreamed on St. Clement's Facebook page. Contributions may be made in Bill's memory to: Saratoga Hospital Foundation, 211 Church Street or The Creative Place International, P.O. Box 99, both in Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866. Arrangements are under the direction of William J. Burke & Sons. Online condolences may be made at www.burkefuneralhome.com
Published by Albany Times Union on Sep. 22, 2020.