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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

17 May 2005

+ Asleep in Jesus: The Rev. Dr. Walter W. Snyder +

My father, the Rev. Dr. Walter W. Snyder died peacefully at home in Honey Grove, Texas on Saturday morning 7 May AD 2005. He was completing 47 years in the pastoral ministry and had preached his last sermon on 1 May. He planned that the 16th of May would be his official retirement day. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri to Walter Frederick and Erna (Wacker) Snyder on 10 July AD 1930 and grew up in Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he was baptized, attended grade school, confirmed, and married.

Pastor W. W. Snyder

Dad was a 1947 graduate of St. Paul's Lutheran High School, Concordia, Missouri. He graduated St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas in 1949, attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis before entering the United States Army, then graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois in 1958. He returned to Springfield in the 1960s to complete work for a Master of Divinity degree. Concordia Seminary awarded him the Master of Sacred Theology in 1979 and conferred a Doctorate in Theology upon him in 1983.

He served congregations in Denison and Honey Grove, TX, Pittsburg, KS, Gallup, NM, and Flint, MI, wrote books and articles on Lutheran doctrine and history, and did mission and social ministry work among the Navajo and in Kazakhstan, Africa, Mexico, and elsewhere. His adult education book What Do Lutherans Believe, which he allowed me to edit and expand, has been translated into Russian and Kazakh and a translation is underway into Malayalam, one of the languages of India. He remarried in April 2004, to Betty Schuster, celebrating his first wedding anniversary only a month before his death.

Dad is survived by five children and six grandchildren, Pastor Walter (Stephanie, Courtney and Laura), of Emma, MO, Paul, of Saint Louis, MO, Timothy (Brenda, Joshua and Jason), of Farmington, NM, Stephen, of Texas, and a daughter and family in Arizona; great-grandson, Jared Snyder; great-granddaughter, Adryanna Snyder; wife Betty; sister Marguerite (Elmore Krenning) of St. Louis; a nephew and niece, in the Saint Louis area; step-daughters Jeanne K. Mowrer of Gallup, N.M. and Susan P. Lundberg; and many cousins.

The funeral service was 10:30 am Wednesday 11 May in Honey Grove, at St. James Lutheran Church, Windom (Allen's Chapel), Texas with Pastor Bruce Miller preaching and Pastor Wayne Renning as liturgist. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri on Friday 13 May at 10:30 am, officiated by the Rev. Ray Mirly, First Vice-President of the Missouri District of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Memorials supporting domestic and international missions may be made through St. James Lutheran Church, 14394 E FM 1396, Windom, TX 75492-9702.