Laura Snyder ’85

Laura Snyder ’85 died on September 6, 2019, in Astoria, Oregon.

(The following was published in The Daily Astorian on September 10, 2019)

Laura Snyder — beloved wife, loving mother, devoted friend — died at home in Astoria surrounded by family and her dogs on September 6, 2019, at the age of 56.

Laura was born June 13, 1963, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Sam and Barbara Snyder. Her siblings are Richard and Dan Snyder. Laura grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, tormenting her brothers and playing musical instruments. She was the middle sibling in a loving family.

After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1985, she started a five-year stint as a cook on sailing vessels. She learned to cook on the first boat she sailed on, the Homer Dixon. Laura made two Atlantic Ocean crossings on sailboats — one from New York City to Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia).

Laura and Jon met through mutual friends Arria Merrill and Lars Holmdal on Lummi Island, Washington. Laura was working as a baker at Grand Central Bakery in Seattle at the time. They married September 17, 1994, and settled in Astoria.

Laura worked for the Women’s Crisis Center (now The Harbor), and later was on their board of directors. Laura started an independent bookstore, Lucy’s Books, in 1998. She loved reading and recommending books to people. Laura’s two children, Ani and Tim, spent their time after school at the bookstore and wandering around downtown Astoria.

Some of the many authors she had read at Lucy’s Books were: Buzz Bissinger, Dan Savage, Krist Novoselic, Robert Michael Pyle, Petra Mathers and Robin Cody.

Laura was passionate about her community, and was on the Astoria School Board for seven years. She enjoyed talking to people about politics and education, and was a programmer for radio station KMUN for folk and women’s music.

She belonged to a book group for almost 25 years, attending the most recent August gathering. Laura was also an avid runner and swimmer. She ran the Portland Marathon in 2009, and completed several sprint and olympic triathlons.

Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012, a week before Tim started high school and Ani started her junior year of high school.

Laura is survived by her husband, Jon, daughter, Ani, and son, Tim (and her dogs Mia and Louis); her parents, Sam and Barbara, and siblings, Richard and Danny, as well as nieces and nephews and many cousins. She is also survived by many dear friends.

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