Ralph McCoy Snyder
June 12, 1927 – May 19, 2023
Ralph M. Snyder, 95, died peacefully at his home in Belfast on Friday, May 19, 2023, surrounded by family. He was born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, where his father, Edward F. Snyder, Sr, was a lawyer, and his mother, Mary Ella Blue Snyder, was a flower gardener and homemaker.
After the death of Ralph's father, the family moved to Orono, ME, where Mary Ella taught at the University of Maine, Orono.
Ralph attended Orono schools and enjoyed the forests and riverside of the area. During his senior year at Orono High School, Ralph was president of his class and president of the student council. In this last position, he attended funerals for classmates killed in service, representing the school.
He joined the Navy upon graduation and was in boot camp when the war ended. Service in the Philippines in a dental clinic gave him a direction for his future. After his honorable service, he attended the University of Maine at Orono for two years before enrolling at Tufts Dental School in Boston, MA, where he received his dental degree in 1952.
Ralph married Mary Virginia Dirks, the love of his life, in August 1951. They moved to Belfast in 1952 where Ralph had a dental practice, which he continued until 1989. They had three children – Susan, of Westford, Mass., John (Jean) of Topsfield, Mass, and Dave of Monroe, Me. Ralph is also survived by grandchildren Emily (Ryan) Freeman, Beverly, Mass., Mark Snyder (Emily Kolano) of Washington D.C., and great-grands Nolan and Sophie Freeman.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary D. Snyder; his parents, Edward F. Snyder, Sr., and Mary Ella Blue Snyder; his three siblings, Edward F. Snyder Jr, Mary Louise Snyder Dow, and Caroline Snyder; and his partners in sport, Daryll O'Leary and Harold Jones.
Belfast provided opportunities to golf, hike, and sail. Ralph built a 22 ft. sloop in the basement. Bets were laid on whether he could successfully remove it from said basement. Local police and several interested friends and neighbors gathered for the extrication. Misty sailed Penobscot Bay for many years.
Ralph was also an early proponent of jogging, beginning in 1967 and shortly thereafter joining with Harold Jones and Daryll O'Leary to trample Belfast streets for many years. Bikes joined the exercise mix, leading to 25 years of the Trek Across Maine. Ralph loved reading, travel, sailing, a political argument, a good dirty joke, the company of friends, and his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.ripostafh.com
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