1956 – 2016

AUBURN — John Kelly Snyder, beloved husband of Linda Hertell Snyder, died Friday, Oct. 21, after years of declining health. No one would ever have known, however, as Johnny was a proud man who sucked it up and refused to let others see the pain and distress he was in.

John was born Sept. 20, 1956, in Toledo, Ohio, the first son of Evelyn (Smetana) Snyder and Eddie Snyder.

After Evelyn died when John was 2, he and brother Andy lived with their maternal grandmother until their father remarried; the family then moved to Andover.

After high school, John attended Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H., earning his associate degree. His studies included intensive training in flying helicopters; he wanted to work as a pilot, but he was graduating with his license just as the guys were coming out of Vietnam with real-life flying experience, so John never had the chance to fulfill that dream.

In 1976, John married Nancy Melville of Locke Mills; together they had two children, Ried and Amber, and adopted another daughter, Barbara. They lived in an 1800s farmhouse on several acres in Hiram, which John called Hill Gully Farm.

While in Hiram, John worked at Howell Labs in Bridgton where he excelled in installing and servicing survival systems on U.S. Navy ships; by the time he left Howell in 2006, he had worked on 105 ships all over the world.

In 2008, John married Linda Hertell, who was his seventh-grade “sweetheart.” He’d stand by and grin as Linda repeatedly told of how he sent her a ring from a Cracker Jack box in the mail, and then “dumped her” the first day of eighth grade.

At the time of his death, John was the daytime post press supervisor at the Sun Journal, and co-owner with Linda of Heritage Collectibles, and Heritage Books & Maps.

Although born in Ohio, John was more a Mainer than many born here. He knew the woods of Oxford County inside and out, and in 2004 was the seventh-most prolific benchmarker for the National Geodetic Survey. John installed a benchmark outside our home, inscribed with our names and words “The Great Adventure.” Johnny, I am so heartbroken that our adventure has ended. You will always be loved and missed.

John leaves behind his wife, Linda, of Auburn; their three dogs, Mr. Budro, Rudi and Millie; his children, Ried Snyder, wife Kat, and son Griffin (New Gloucester); Amber Snyder Bernard, husband Mike, son Lucien Kelly, and Mike’s children Bella and Connor (Hiram); and Barbara Snyder, partner Joe Viscione, daughters Myka and Temperance (Salem, Mass.); and his stepdaughter, Jessamyn Hsu and husband Joshua (Los Angeles, Calif.). He also leaves his brothers, Andy Snyder (South Paris), and Mark Snyder and wife Anna (Andover); and his ex-wife, Nancy Melville Snyder (Hiram).

John was predeceased by his mother, Evelyn; and his father, Eddie.

There is far more to the saga of this amazing, brilliant, loving man than can be printed here. To read a fuller tribute, please go to https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com/about-us-a-tribute-to-john-k-snyder/.

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