Stuart Hayward SnyderFebruary 22, 2013
Schenectady, NY - Stuart Hayward Snyder, 91, died February 22, 2013 at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center in Schenectady, NY. As a structural engineer, Stu was widely known among the region's architectural and construction professionals, and he had a hand in the design or renovation of many schools, churches, banks, office buildings and government facilities throughout the Northeast. Notable Capital Region projects included new buildings at Schenectady County Community College, Troy Medical Center, and additions at Siena College, Albany Medical Center, and the Albany Stratton VA Hospital. His work also includes numerous school buildings for the Niskayuna, Guilderland, Shenendehowa, South Colonie, and Schenectady Schools.
Stu was born on June 18, 1921 in Brooklyn, NY to the late Frank K. and Dorothy W. (Williamson) Snyder, and he attended Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush, NY. After graduation in 1939 he worked at the French-American Banking Corporation in lower Manhattan while attending night school at the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics at LaGuardia Airport. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1938, and in April 1941 he was ordered to active duty and stationed at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where he advanced to the rank of Chief Yeoman. In July 1943, he entered the Navy V-12 Officer Training Program and studied first at Union College in Schenectady and later at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY where he earned his Civil Engineering degree and graduated in February 1946. While attending Cornell, he married Dehra Smith of Ithaca in March, 1945 and in September 1945 he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy.
He began his engineering career at a construction project site in Bridgeport, CT for the Austin Company of N.Y. In 1947 he moved to Carlisle, PA where he was employed as a structural designer with several engineering firms in the Harrisburg, PA area. In 1953 he and Dehra moved to Syracuse, NY where in 1955 he founded his own firm, Snyder Associates, Consulting Engineers. His practice specialized in the structural engineering design and preparation of plans of foundations and structural steel or reinforced concrete framing for major buildings. In 1965 Joseph M. Burns, Jr. of Syracuse became a partner and the firm name was changed to Snyder, Burns and Associates, Consulting Engineers. His clients were mostly architects, industry, and public agencies. He was especially proud to be a consultant to the prominent architectural firm Mosaic Associates (formerly Dodge Chamberlin Luzine Weber Associates), of East Greenbush, NY.
In 1979, Stu and Dehra moved to Cape Cod (to a new home he designed), where he re-established Snyder Associates based in West Chatham, MA. His practice flourished until his retirement in 1998. In 1999 he and his wife returned to New York State and settled (in another new home he designed!) in the hills of North Greenbush.
Stu was a member of the New York, Massachusetts, and National Societies of Professional Engineers, the Consulting Engineers Council of New York, and a member and past president of the Boston Association of Structural Engineers. While on Cape Cod, he served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Chatham, MA.
A life-long music lover, Stu often tickled the ivories, and brought many smiles and an occasional tear with his heart-felt renditions of many great lyrical themes from symphonies, pop, and favorite movies. He was on the regular 'happy birthday' rotation playing dinner and background music at the Kingsway Community, where he lived since 2002.
Stuart was predeceased by his wife Dehra in January, 2006 after 61 years of marriage. In October 2007 he was predeceased by his dear friend and companion Edith Campman, who lived with Stu at Kingsway Village for a brief time.
Stuart is survived by his son Eric of Phuket, Thailand, his daughter Karen Laird of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and his son Carl (Barbara Lapidus) of Niskayuna, NY. His cremains will be interred with military honors, beside those of Dehra, at the Saratoga National Cemetery. No memorial service is planned. Donations may be made to Community Hospice, 1411 Union Street, Schenectady, NY, 12308 ( www.communityhospice.org).