Dr. Sherwin Lee Snyder passed away on Friday, July 19, 2019 at Westminster Village in Scottsdale, Arizona where he and his wife Dorothy had lived for many years. He was 86. Through a distinguished career as an educator at Ottawa University and a life-long commitment to glorifying God through music he exemplified the motto of his beloved Ottawa University, by living a “life of significance.”
Sherwin was born March 20, 1933 in North Canton, Ohio. His musical education began at age seven at the suggestion of his doctor during a year when he was housebound with a severe case of tonsillitis. His youth was filled with a rich musical education including bands, choirs, ongoing piano tutelage and eventually the organ. After high school, Sherwin graduated from Kent State University in 1955 with a degree in Business Administration. At Kent State, Sherwin was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and of the Air Force ROTC program. He also continued his musical studies in organ, voice and theory and began playing at a small church near campus during his junior year.
After graduation, he began military service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. He completed a Master’s degree in industrial management from The Ohio State University in 1958 and in 1969 was granted the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, with a major in organizational behavior, by Indiana University.
Sherwin married his wife of 59 years, Dorothy on December 7, 1957.
In 1958, they moved to Chicago for Sherwin to begin an accounting career with Arthur Young and Co. Their son, David, was born in Chicago, where they belonged to the North Shore Baptist Church.
In 1960, Sherwin, his wife Dorothy and six-month old son, David, moved to Ottawa, Kansas to begin a lifelong affiliation with Ottawa University. Their daughter, Claudia, was born in Ottawa.
Sherwin had an extraordinary career at Ottawa University. His name, along with that of his dear friend and distinguished faculty member Wayne Angell, is attached to the Angell Snyder School of Business. He taught at both the Ottawa, Kansas and Phoenix, Arizona campuses for a total of 38 years, serving as Director of Graduate Studies in Human Resources and Dean of Graduate Studies, and retired in 1998. During his tenure, Dr. Snyder served as Chairman of the Department of Economics and Organizational Administration, Chairman of the Social Science Division, Chairman of the President’s Task Force on University Governance, member of the College Without Campus (OUKC) task force, and faculty representative to the Board of Trustees. Indicative of his popularity among students and innovative teaching methods, Dr. Snyder was named Faculty Member of the Year four times by the graduating classes of the college in Ottawa, Kansas.
Sherwin was elected City Commissioner of Ottawa, Kansas, 1979 through 1983 and served as mayor of Ottawa from 1982 to 1983.
Sherwin also spent a lifetime committed to stirring the Holy Spirit through music for the many congregants in the churches where he served as church organist. He was the principal organist at First Baptist Church, Ottawa, Kansas from 1968-1989 and the principal organist at Mountain View Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, AZ from 1990 to his retirement in 2010, when he was also named Organist Emeritus. Sherwin gave numerous concerts, recorded CDs and served as the Treasurer of the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Up until his last week, Sherwin played for chapel services and sing-a-longs at Westminster Village.
Survivors include, his son, David (Susan) and grandsons Stephen, Mark and James Snyder of Chicago, IL, his daughter, Claudia (Mark) and granddaughters Caroline and Louisa Mills of Prairie Village, KS. He is also survived by, two nephews, Mark (Colleen) and their son, Daniel Bailis of Twinsburg, OH, and Scott (Becky) and their daughters Kelsey and Rachel Bailis of Mentor, OH. He is also survived by his cousin, Venita (Charles) Riggs Ballinger in San Diego, CA.
A Witness to the Resurrection service will be held at Mountain View Presbyterian Church, 8050 E. Mountain View Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85258 on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. Reception to be held in Meredith Hall afterwards. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made to: American Parkinson Disease Association, www.apdaparkinson.org or the Angell Snyder School of Business at Ottawa University, http://www.ottawa.edu/.
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