1926 – 2018
Harris William (H.W.) Snyder was born in North Platte, NE, August 26, 1926, the seventh and last child of Mullen Burt and Carrie B. (Richey) Snyder. He left this life at his home on April 19, 2018.
Harris began his schooling in North Platte, Nebraska. When he was ten years old his father passed away, after which he and his Mother moved around the country, staying with his sisters as they had their babies. He lived in Texas, Arizona, and California where he graduated from LaJolla California High School in June 1944. With his Mother’s permission he immediately joined the Navy. Having always been patriotic he was eager to join all who served in the war, but had to wait until his 18th birthday to be inducted. After boot camp Harris was assigned to Radio School and, upon completion, was immediately placed on USS Yorktown, better known as the Fighting Lady, where he served as radioman for the duration of the war. His ship was involved in all of the attacks on the islands taken by the Japanese and, on one occasion, was torpedoed by Japanese Zeros. During the concluding days of the war the Yorktown accompanied the USS Missouri into Tokyo Bay for the signing of the Peace Treaty, where, following the ceremony, the crew was permitted to take leave in Tokyo. President Harry Truman recognized the USS Yorktown and her crew with a Presidential Citation for their valiant service. In June 1946, Harris was discharged from the Navy and joined his mother in Morrill, Nebraska, and, for one year, attended what was then Scottsbluff Junior College.
Harris met the love of his life, Iris C. Smith, at a dance in Mitchell, NE, during a leave prior to his discharge. Following his year at Scottsbluff College, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska with the intention of obtaining a Doctor of Law and, toward the end of his first year, he and Iris were engaged. Iris moved to Lincoln where, on March 24, l948, they married in the Methodist Church. After graduation and successfully passing the bar exam, Harris entered practice with J. E. Porter, in Crawford, Nebraska, where he soon became a partner in the firm of Porter & Snyder. J. E. Porter passed away in 1957. Harris continued his law practice in Crawford until December 2014 when poor health made it necessary to close the office.
During his many years in Crawford Harris was very active in the community. His many volunteer endeavors included serving on the Old West Trail Rodeo Association, the Crawford Board of Education, the Crawford Chamber of Commerce, and acting as Mr. Fireworks for some twenty-five plus years. Harris served as City Attorney for 47 years, always striving to serve the best interest of Crawford. He secured City ownership of the Legend Butte Golf Course when he negotiated with the holder of the note to purchase the course for twenty-five cents on the dollar. Harris always worked tirelessly on every project geared toward the betterment of the Crawford community.
Throughout his life of service to family, community, and country, his patriotism never diminished and was ever evident in his reverence for the flag and his love of patriotic celebrations. For many decades those in attendance during the annual Crawford Fourth of July Parade found him behind the wheel of his 1928 Model A as Mr. Fireworks, loudly playing patriotic music and distributing firecrackers or candy along the way. Many of those years that Model A towed a float populated by grandchildren with which he vied in a friendly rivalry with Herren Bros True Value in the contest for best business float. In his latter years of parade participation he and Iris were afforded the honor of being Grand Marshals in recognition of their many volunteer hours given to the City of Crawford and its community.
His daughter, Stacy Ann Snyder, his parents, brothers and sisters, as well as their spouses, a niece and three nephews, precede Harris in death. He is survived by his wife, Iris C. Snyder, of 70 years; daughters April E. Casey and son-in-law, Michael B. Casey; Angela C. Snyder and her partner, Erica Malzer; grandchildren Sean Casey, Mick Casey and his wife, Ashley, and Kate Casey; great grandchildren, Kennedy Casey, Marley Casey, and step-great grandson, Kaiden.
A memorial fund, to be designated at a future date in his honor, has been set up and donations may be sent to Iris C. Snyder, PO Box 111, Crawford, NE.