Marilyn June (Vollmer) SnyderFebruary 15, 1929 ~ January 12, 2017 (age 87)
George and Margaret Vollmer welcomed their first-born child, Marilyn June Snyder, to their lives in February of 1929. The eldest of four siblings, she was followed by Jack Vollmer, Margie Close and Nancy Fett (deceased). She was born at home in Grant, Michigan, a town of 500. The dedicated, but busy, doctor was not known for keeping the best records; therefore, Marilyn celebrated two birthdays. This was not discovered until Marilyn applied for Social Security and realized that her legal birthday was February 15, not the day prior. With a good sense of humor, she proclaimed that “my mother always wanted a Valentine’s Baby and the doctor never could keep his paperwork straight.” Marilyn left this world in the way she arrived; strong, without complaint, and quietly, on January 12, 2017, just shy of both of her “88th birthdays.”
Marilyn married Omar Snyder at the age of 21. He was a worldly man who grew up in the same hometown, but had already achieved many lifetime accomplishments, including his return from World War II, where he served as a Crew Chief/Armorer in the 14th Squadron, better known as the Flying Tigers. After the war, he retained a private pilot’s license and resumed the family business of farming. Marilyn and Omar spent their honeymoon on a 34-foot cabin cruiser, proudly purchased by Omar in cash, and named “Marilyn.” While residents of Grant/Newago, Michigan, they welcomed three boys, each one just over a year apart, Keith Edward Snyder, Richard Earl Snyder, and Kim Robert Snyder. Marilyn and Omar’s sons enjoyed “a boy’s life.” This included many stories and adventures spent with their cousins, camping on the lake, along with great memories of a time that did not include video games and smartphones.
While Omar was farming and Marilyn was working for the local doctor’s office (assisting in keeping better records), they received unexpected news. The test results were back: Marilyn and Omar were expecting another child! Thirteen years from their eldest and ten years from their youngest son, an addition was pending. With Marilyn 35, and Omar 50, the famous quote was, “we simply thought she had the flu.” Instead, it was Ann Margaret (Annie).
With farming becoming increasingly difficult, life for the Snyder family changed dramatically. As another year of crops (onions) were lost, so was the treasured family home built by Omar and the namesake cabin-cruiser, “Marilyn,” both holding so many special memories. In the spirit of resilience, which both Marilyn and Omar possessed, a new life would begin, taking the teenage boys, two year old Annie, and the Snyders to Coldwater, Michigan. As Marilyn always said, “our life was filled with much sadness, but at the end happiness prevailed.”
The Stag Café was purchased, renovated, and opened as “Omar’s Bar” over fifty years ago, and was the livelihood and family business for Omar until his passing and Marilyn, well into her 70s. The doors remain open and the tradition of the hometown local bar still continues under the ownership of their son, Richard. Against all odds, Marilyn kept the business running while raising a teenage daughter after becoming a widow at the age of 50, and suffering the loss of her youngest son, Kim, that same year. She was known for her strength during this time, not only personally, but also professionally.
Through it all, Marilyn maintained her sense of humor. She was able to laugh at herself, as her interpretation or variation of the English language (better known as “Marilyn-isms”) became a hot topic throughout the years. Marilyn will also be remembered for her love of scratch off lottery tickets, her luck at the Wheel of Fortune slot machines, and traveling. She was/is fondly thought of by her lunch hour regulars and her daily routine surrounding Omar’s. Marilyn was always surprised and proud to know that those loyal patrons continued to ask about her long after her retirement and well into her senior years. She not only enjoyed people, but was a voracious reader of novels, secretly coveting The Star, The Enquirer and People magazines, along with a host of other more mindful publications. She also loved TV, although she could never operate the remote. Another claim to fame was her childhood ballet teacher, Betty “Bloomer” Ford in Grand Rapids, who would one day become the First Lady. Throughout the years, Marilyn remained a part of the 14th Squadron celebrations and specifically made it a point to attend the tribute reunion in Washington D.C., as well as, flying the entire family out for the Flying Tigers reunion in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy and NORAD.
Many of Marilyn’s best memories were those she shared with her family, whether it was visiting around the kitchen table at her parents’ house surrounded by food, libations and laughter, traveling with the Beverage Association, or the countless trips taken throughout the country, from Washington D.C. to California. Marilyn regretted that Omar was not alive to see the birth of their grandchildren, Lisa Marie Snyder, Brooke Annette Snyder, and Brian Richard Snyder. She, however, was fortunate to remain an active part of their lives, participating in their childhood and watching them grow up in Coldwater, Michigan.
Marilyn relished many visits to Colorado, eventually calling it her second home, with her final years spent as a resident of Colorado Springs. As Marilyn never met a stranger, her friendships flourished. These were people who she had met over the last thirty years at The Broadmoor, initially known as her daughter’s place of work, but now known as the home of Marilyn’s extended family.
As Marilyn went into her later years, her motto was “getting old is not easy.” Life challenges and health issues affecting her mobility never impacted her sharp wit, sense of humor or positive outlook. She never complained and always seemed to find “the good” in any situation. When leaving this world, the most that anyone can hope is to make their mark; and Marilyn did so with grace. She left an impression on the lives, hearts and memories of friends and family alike, which one day will bring a smile once the bittersweet pain of passing subsides. As she spent a lifetime serving others, we are confident that the gate to the next journey was guided by a “divine welcome committee,” including her husband Omar, son Kim, sister Nancy, and a plethora of loved ones awaiting her arrival. With sad hearts, she is survived by her immediate family: Keith and Christy Snyder, Richard Snyder and Diane Clearwater, Ann Margaret Snyder Alba, Lisa Marie Snyder, Brian Richard Snyder and Brooke Annette Snyder, sister Margie Close and brother Jack Vollmer, along with many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was and remains loved by all and will be missed.
A Celebration of Marilyn's Life will be held in Coldwater, Michigan this spring on a date to be determined. You can sign the online guest book at www.kroeze-wolffis.com. Arrangements are by Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home, Inc. of Fremont.