Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Republican Lawmaker from Kirkwood, Appeals Judge, Dies at 98

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Republican Lawmaker from Kirkwood, Appeals Judge, Dies at 98

Article excerpt

Robert O. Snyder's public life revealed a love for the law and politics. In private, he had a passion for birds and writing volumes of poetry some of it a little naughty.

Judge Snyder, a retired Missouri appellate judge and Republican lawmaker who lived in Kirkwood for most of his life, died of heart failure Wednesday (May 25, 2016) at home. He was 98.

Judge Snyder spent more than two decades in public life in Missouri, serving six terms in the Missouri Legislature in the 1960s and '70s. He was the Republican House minority leader from 1973-76 before being appointed to the state's Eastern District Court of Appeals in 1977 by Gov. Joseph Teasdale, a Democrat.

He was born in Lima, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University before serving in the Navy in World War II where he served on a destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea toward the war's end, his family said.

"He had a passion for the fact that he was in World War II and he was on the USS Kendrick," said one of his daughters, Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann Snyder of Clayton. "He always said, 'I was there when the bombs went off.'"

Before and after the war, he worked as a salesman for General Electric, moved to St. Louis and attended St. Louis University's law school. He learned he had passed the state bar exam on the day his oldest daughter was born in 1951.

Judge Snyder was elected six times to the Missouri House and narrowly lost his second bid for Congress in 1976 to Rep. Robert Young, a Democrat from St. Ann.

The following year, the governor tapped Judge Snyder for the appeals court and had then-Democratic House Speaker Ken Rothman call Judge Snyder to deliver the news. Rothman said Friday that Judge Snyder was so stunned that he immediately hung up on him to tell his wife but later called Rothman back to apologize.

"I've never met anyone who had any more principle and character than he did," Rothman, 80, of Richmond Heights, said Friday. …

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