Beverley J. Snyder, 88, went to be with Christ on Thursday (January 13, 2022) surrounded by family at home after an 11-year battle with Alzheimer’s.
Mrs. Snyder was born on April 25, 1933 in Liberty, Pa. to Arnold and Ella (Scarborough) Plank. The first pivotal happening in Bev’s life was when her family moved to the Alfred Almond School district in her teens. It was there that she met and began a lifelong relationship with Harold C. Snyder who survives. They married in 1951 directly following Bev’s graduation from Alfred Almond in the home where they lived until the time of her death.
Beverley always felt that she first understood the true meaning of family when she married into the Snyder tribe, and that had an impact on the choices she made as a young wife and mother. She dedicated her time and energies to caring for her husband and family. She never sabotaged her happiness with unrealistic expectations and adapted to the rigors of farm life patiently. As her children were growing up, she was an adventurous, fun, and enthusiastic mom. She prioritized being home to greet them after school and often sweetened the greeting with freshly baked cookies. She was a helpmate to Harold during haying season on the tractor raking hay, sometimes driving the rig for baling and when not occupied that way she was keeping the hired hands, the neighborhood boys and the grand kids who were helping refreshed with lemonade, milkshakes and sustenance often late into the work day. Bev was active in Allegany Farm Bureau and the DairyLea Cooperative with Harold.
The next impactful choice made in Bev’s life was to respond to the call of Christ on her life her early 40’s. Her friendships with Clarice Rose, Ginny Obergfell and June Funk were ones that opened the door to her newfound faith. Her love of God’s Word grew and this led her to greater confidence as she saw her value as one loved by Christ and freely extended that love to others in her church and community. Her hospitable spirit, along with Harold’s meant they had open hearts and an open home which soon led to ministry to college students on both campuses with several of her children and their spouses volunteering in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. College students over the next 40 years were impacted greatly by her mentoring and selfless Christ-centered example. Her grandchildren too benefited from her deep faith and caring ways with overnights, home-cooked meals and good counsel at all stages of life. She is characterized by her husband as being the “best” wife, partner, mother, counselor and friend anyone could want. Bev displayed a quick wit and vivacious personality. She was a charming lady with a gracious heart whose smile lit the room as she conversed with others, making all feel welcome and loved.
Harold and Bev were dancers all their married lives, square dancing and swing dancing brought fun and new friendships into their lives even into their late 70’s and 80’s when Bev’s sharp mind began to experience the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. She kept dancing with Harold in Wellsville where the folks at the dances loved Bev and began to take her under their wings when she lost her way on the dance floor or sat at the wrong table.
For the last 11 years, Bev’s four daughter’s hosted weekly breakfasts for and with their parents. Rotating from home to home each Tuesday morning they gathered to enjoy food, laughter and memories. This made the transitions in Bev’s life easier for all to bear and made it natural to become more involved in her care over time. The gifts of family, extended family, an understanding community and a sensitive doctor allowed our mom to be loved well to the end. She is gone from our sight, but not from our hearts. Restored and whole in the presence of Christ.
In addition to her husband of 70 years, Bev is survived by four daughters, Sandra (Roger) McGraw, Penny (Roger) Gardner, Kelly (Mark) Lawrence and Jill ((Justin) Grigg, all of Alfred; one sister, Wanda (Randall) Atken of Arlington, Texas; 21 grandchildren, Aaron (Michelle) McGraw of Alfred, Andrew (Kelly) McGraw of Durham, N.C., Summer (Jason) Tutak of Alfred, Joshua (Laura) McGraw, Nathanael Gardner of Rochester, Bethany (David) Slovak of Washington, N.J., Rachael (Jeff) Nunez of Alfred, Hannah (Cody) Smith of Charlotte, N.C., Josiah Gardner of Alfred, Julia (Derek) O’Dell of Beacon, Jenna Gardner of Midland, Texas, Lindsey (Chris) Blair of New Zealand, Cory Lawrence of Alfred, Noell’e (Rob) McGuirtec of Charleston, S.C., Katlyn (Mike) Trebbow of Santa Barbara, Calif., Hailey Lawrence of Manhattan, Levi (Julia) Lawrence of San Diego, Calif., Ainsley Grigg, Tighe Grigg and Harrison Grigg, all of Alfred.
Additionally, she is survived by 29 great grandchildren, Lucas McGraw, Mia McGraw, Seth McGraw, Brea McGraw, Zadok McGraw, Hudson McGraw, Hadley McGraw, Quinn McGraw, Isaiah Tutak, Eden Tutak, Silas Tutak, Naomi Tutak, Gabrielle Tutak, Abide Tutak, Lidia McGraw, Joel McGraw, Alison Slovak, Natalie Slovak, Avery Slovak, Caleb Slovak, Oliver Slovak, Jayden Smith, Hudson O’Dell, Jordan O’Dell, Cooper Harold Blair, Belle Blair, Riverlee McGuirtec, Daisey Trebbow and Henry Treebow; and many nieces and nephews
She was predeceased by a brother, Lyle Plank and a sister, Shirley Flaitz.
Desiring to honor their matriarch all together and joyfully, Bev’s family will celebrate her life this summer at the Snyder Homestead at a time to be determined by the family. Arrangements are under the direction of Baker-Swan Funeral Home, Andover. Online condolences may be offered at www.baker-swan.com.