James R. Snyder
- October 9, 2022
James R. Snyder
James R. Snyder of Cedar Rapids passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Oct. 5, 2022. He was 91.
Jim was born Feb. 10, 1931, in Preston, Minn., to Arthur and Elfriede (Heisterkamp) Snyder. He grew up in Charles City, Iowa, where he played in the state basketball tournament and graduated from Immaculate Conception High School. He attended St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. He served as a sergeant in the Army and then earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 1957. He joined the law firm of Simmons Perrine Albright & Ellwood after graduation.
Jim married the love of his life, Nancy Ing Peterson, on Dec. 30, 1960, and they were devoted to each other for 62 years. He was proud of their three children: Peter Snyder, MD, a physician-scientist at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine; Julie Lake, a teacher in Urbandale; and Amy Scott, a lawyer in McKinney, Texas. The childhood years were full of annual Christmas parties and “Viewing of the Poinsettia” celebrations, when friends and family stood in awe of the Guinness book-worthy poinsettia Jim had brought home. He drove the family to Florida for vacation every year, first in their station wagon and later in their 1970s van with wall-to-wall shag carpet, while listening to the Bee Gees on the 8-track player. He was a loving and engaged father to his children. He danced with them in front of the Christmas tree; took them to lunch at The Flame Room; played golf with Julie and Pete; and once took Amy to a KISS concert to distract her from her mother’s cancer treatments.
Jim built a distinguished legal career at the Simmons Perrine firm, where he practiced for 43 years. He was the president of the Linn County Bar Association. He was also a member of many other prestigious legal organizations including the Iowa State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers. He and his daughter, Amy, worked on several cases together, including a case before the Iowa Supreme Court. He was a beloved colleague and a mentor to young lawyers.
Jim enjoyed spending time on the golf course or with family and friends at his cabin in Troy Mills. He loved to walk the beaches of Siesta Key or Orange Beach or to read a book – especially a good John Grisham or James Patterson. He was an ardent Hawkeye sports fan, so much so that in his later years he couldn’t bear to watch but would text Pete every five minutes to check the score.
Jim always saw the best in everyone he met. He was an advocate for the underdog and a mentor to many young people. Jim was so proud of his children and grandchildren and was a positive role model to all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife, Nancy (Peterson) Snyder; son, Dr. Peter Snyder, (Christinia Bohannan), Iowa City, Iowa; daughter, Julie Lake (Kevin Lemon), Urbandale, Iowa; daughter, Amy Scott (Dave), Mckinney, Texas. He was “Papa” to nine grandchildren, Nicholas Staub (Allison), Minneapolis, Minn., Kelsey Staub, Seattle, Wash., Michael Staub, Sioux City, Iowa, Eli Scott, Ethan Scott, Ean Scott of McKinney, Texas, Brie Lemon, Des Moines, Iowa, Travis Lemon, Ankeny, Iowa, and Mira Bohannan Kumar, Iowa City, Iowa. He is survived by sister, Betty Koesling; sister-in-law, Lois Snyder; brother in law, Rodger Peterson (Su); and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Shirley Schmitt; and brother, Raymon Snyder.
Memorial Donations, in Memory of Jim Snyder, may be directed to Oldorf Hospice House (mercycare.org/giving) or The University of Iowa Law School (donate.givetoiowa.org).
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories. Visitation Luncheon will follow.