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Published: Monday, 10/12/2009

Ex-Fayette official served as firefighter

Max Eugene Snider, 83, who served for several years on Fayette Village Council and was a Gorham-Fayette volunteer firefighter for about 40 years, died Oct. 4 at his son's home in Clute, Texas.

The cause of Mr. Snider's death is unknown, but he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had recently refused treatment for growths on his lymph nodes, lungs, and liver, according to son Jeff Snider.

"They suspected cancer," the son said.

Mr. Snider was committed to public service and spent his free time volunteering, his family said.

"He loved this town, he loved Fayette, he loved the people in it," said his son Joe Snider. "I don't remember my dad making an enemy in the world. I don't think he had an enemy."

He was ready any time of day to respond to the fire siren that wailed from the center of town, his son said.

"I remember chasing him up the street," Joe Snyder said of his father's late-night fire runs. "I thought that was the greatest thing, to see the fire trucks come out of the station."

Mr. Snider enlisted in the Navy in June, 1944, and served two years as a seaman first class in World War II. He was stationed in San Francisco when he met the woman who would become his wife, Betty Jo Rusher, at a USO event at a roller-skating rink outside the city. He was transferred to Chicago soon afterward, and months passed before they spoke again. She was 16 years old when he spontaneously called her on the telephone and popped the question, son Joe said.

"She said she'd have to ask her dad" if she could marry him, Joe said.

He traveled to California by train and brought his bride back to Ohio. The pair had six children.

In the 1960s, Mr. Snider started a 17-year career as a carrier for The Blade, and his sons said they remember looking forward to late-night rides with him downtown to pick up the papers for his route.

He retired from shipping firm UPS in 1989 after 21 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Snider moved with their daughter, Lynn, to Texas. In retirement, the couple enjoyed square dancing and country music concerts, son Steve Snider said.

Mrs. Snider died in 1998.

Mr. Snider is survived by his sons, Joe, Steve, and Jeffrey; daughter, Lynn Moldenhauer; 18 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Gorham-Fayette Fire Department Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Pleasant View Union Cemetery in Fayette.

The family suggests tributes to the fire department or the American Legion Post 143 in Fayette.

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