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Ligonier funeral home director dedicated to helping others

Joe Napsha
| Monday, December 24, 2018 7:03 p.m
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Helen Hoyman Snyder of Ligonier died Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, at her home. She was 77.

Helen Hoyman Snyder was comitted to helping other families in mourning as the director of the Snyder Funeral Home Inc. in Ligonier and the former L. Boyd Snyder Funeral Home Inc. of Donegal, even as she battled cancer for five years.

“She was dedicated to helping others. She gave up a lot,” while operating the funeral home business, said her daughter Elizabeth Bloom of Ligonier, a licensed funeral director who helped her mother run the business.

In more than 50 years of helping to operate the funeral homes with her late husband, Gordon O. Snyder, she took only two vacations, Bloom said. She still was working at the funeral home two weeks before she died, Bloom said.

Helen Hoyman Snyder of Ligonier died Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, at her home. She was 77.

She was born Aug. 26, 1941, in
Mt. Pleasant, a daughter of Ella Mae Hays Hoyman of Ligonier, formerly of Acme, and the late Adrian “Beps” Hoyman.

Mrs. Snyder became involved in the funeral home business when she married Gordon O. Snyder shortly after graduating from Hurst High School in 1959. Her father-in-law, L. Boyd Snyder, operated a funeral home in Stahlstown. She graduated from the former Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1960.

Mrs. Snyder was so well-respected among her peers that in 1989, she became the first woman elected president of the Westmoreland, Indiana and Armstrong County Funeral Directors Association, her daughter said.

After her husband died in 2009, Mrs. Snyder and her family continued to operate the funeral homes. She also owned and operated Laurel Highlands Crematory and Pet Cremation Service of Westmoreland.

In addition to operating the funeral home, Mrs. Snyder helped take care of her 103-year-old mother, Bloom said.

“She was a strong woman,” her daughter said.

She was dedicated to her family.

“Her six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren were “the love of her life,” Bloom said.

Mrs. Snyder was a member of Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Donegal.

Mrs. Snyder was preceded in death by her son, Gordon O. Snyder Jr., in 1988. Bloom said her brother suffered from a kidney disease. Her mother would drive him to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh three times a week to undergo dialysis.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by two daughters, Jamie Brown and her husband, Dave, of Stahlstown, and Elizabeth Bloom and her husband, Brian, of Ligonier; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three sisters; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Snyder Funeral Home Inc., 402 E. Church St., Ligonier. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Main Street, Donegal, with the Rev. Keith Deckinger officiating. Private interment will be held in Donegal Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 144, Donegal, PA 15628; or the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Pittsburgh, One Children’s Hospital Drive, Central Plant, Floor 3, 4401 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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