Paul John Snyder
ONTARIO, OR. – On the evening of August 4, Paul Snyder, 74, died peacefully at home. Paul was born in Ishpeming, Michigan, in 1942. He was the son of John Snyder and Grace (Kemp) Snyder. Paul grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he graduated from Ishpeming High School in 1961 and the University of Michigan in 1965. During college, he was a Navy ROTC cadet, and he entered the service immediately after commencement.
In the summer of 1965, as a midshipman, Paul and his fiance, Martha Tuominen, decided to get married on the spur of the moment. However, the county clerk informed the young couple that they needed a blood test and marriage license to tie the knot, which they did not yet have. The next week, after completing the necessary paperwork, they happened to be driving by a church in Spencerville, MD, when they saw a man outside working in the church garden. Paul and Martha asked the man (who was also the pastor) if he would marry them. He obliged, and they were married in the garden that afternoon.
Paul went on to complete flight school in Pensacola, FL, and Corpus Christi, TX. He served as a pilot in the Navy for the next eight years, with several tours in the Vietnam War. He was largely carrier-based, flying both the E2-A Hawkeye and the C-2A Greyhound aircraft. Among his combat decorations were three Air Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal with V Device, and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea).
Paul left the Navy in 1974 and decided to become a doctor. In what must have seemed like a craven betrayal to his fellow Wolverines, he enrolled in Michigan State University Medical School, where he received his M.D. in 1977. After completing his internship in Kalamazoo, MI, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army, where he completed his medical residency in internal medicine at Tripler Medical Center in Honolulu, HI. Next, he was appointed chief of staff at the Army Military Hospital in Fort Polk, LA. In 1984, Paul left the service and entered private practice in Ontario, OR. Paul and Martha opened their first office in Holy Rosary Medical Center the same year. He also served as the medical director of XL Hospice for over 25 years. For more than three decades, he loved treating his patients, just as they loved him. He saw his last patient on August 3, 2017, the day before he died.
Paul lived an exciting and abundant life. He was never happier than when hunting or fishing with friends, getting together with his family, and attending the many activities of his sons and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Martha; his three sons, Chris, Jeff (Nicole), and Rolf (Julie); his grandchildren Finn, Kjell, Amelie, Ike, and Rhodes; his father, John; and his sister Winifred Severson (Richard).
In death, Paul relies on the limitless grace of our Lord and Savior.
A public memorial service will take place at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Ontario on October 7. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pilgrim Lutheran Church or the Youth Education Program at Snake River Sportsmen.