Richard W. “Dick” Snyder, 75, of Dallas died July 9 at Medical City after a short illness. He passed peacefully, in the arms of his family.
Dick, as he was called by everyone who knew him, was born April 12, 1938, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Leonard Snyder and Agnes “Billie” Grittinger Snyder. He graduated from North Side High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., earning all-state honors as a fullback and linebacker for the football team in which he also served as a captain. He began his collegiate career at Florida State University where he played football, and in 1960, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, the same school which 30 years later honored him as Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. In 1964, he earned an MBA from the University of Detroit, in finance and international marketing.
Among his many career achievements, Snyder founded SnyderGeneral Corp. in 1982. Under his leadership, SnyderGeneral became a privately held manufacturer of HVAC and filtration equipment, products, and services. Through organic growth and acquisitions, SnyderGeneral grew from a consolidation of regionally focused firms into a global industry giant with $1 billion in annual sales.
Snyder was the former chairman of the board of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), a past member of the board of directors of the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and a member of the American Business Conference (ABC), among many others.
Amidst his many corporate accomplishments, Snyder was dedicated to public service. He was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, and again in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Negotiations. In 1991, he was appointed to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Task Force, serving under director Carla A. Hills. In 1992, he was named by Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher to the Federal Advisory Committee on the EC Common Approach to Standards Testing and Certification.
In 1994, SnyderGeneral was purchased by Hong Leong Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shortly after the sale, Snyder founded and became chairman and CEO of SnyderCapital, a privately held investment firm specializing in equity investments for mid-sized operating companies.
In his later years, he turned his skill and love of business into an equally strong passion for charitable causes and nonprofit investment, establishing the Snyder Foundation to support public projects, children’s education, animal welfare, and medical research.
His legacy also includes development, financing, underwriting, and other contributions to a myriad of projects to various schools, charities, parks, and other causes.
Snyder is survived by his wife of 53 years, Roberta “Bobbi” Snyder; his brother, Leonard Snyder Jr. and wife, Beulah, of Fort Wayne; two sons, Dr. Richard Snyder II and his wife, Dr. Shelley Hall-Snyder; Robert L. Snyder and wife, Ana; and one daughter, Stacey Verbeek and her husband, Arnie, all of Dallas. Other survivors include 10 grandchildren, and his extended family members, Benjamin Humphrey, Maria de Paz, and Rusty and Tammy Wooten.
The Snyder family plans to hold a celebration of his life later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored with support of one of Snyder’s favorite charities or causes: The Friends of the Katy Trail, St. Philips School and Community Center, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas (SPCA of Texas), and Straydog Inc.
Publication date: 8/19/2013