James Snyder

Obituary of James J. Snyder

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Olean- James J. Snyder Jim Snyder passed away at home Wednesday May 11th under the care of his family, friends and Hospice & Homecare. He was born January 8, 1936, in Olean to Florence Elizabeth Mead and Joseph Henry Snyder and raised in Olean. Jim retired as the Regional Vice President of AAA of Western &Central New York. He graduated with a B.A degree from Syracuse University and a M.S. degree from St. Bonaventure University. He was inducted into the Syracuse University Sports Hall of Fame, having played all four years as a member of the S.U. basketball team. He was also inducted into the Olean High School Wall of Fame. Long active in the local political circles, Jim served two years on the Olean Common Council representing Ward #1, 44 years on the County Legislature, thirteen as its chairman. Jim was President of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Washington, DC, and President of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), Albany, NY. In 1990, City and County Magazine, a national municipal magazine, named Jim as “County Leader of the Year,” in America. In 2006, he won the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce “L.O.U.I.E” award which stands for “Love of Olean United in Enterprise.” From 1991-1993, Jim lived in Washington, DC, and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George H.W Bush. While Chairman of the Cattaraugus County Legislature, Jim was adopted into the Seneca Nation of Indians as a member of the Hawk clan and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations. He also served as chairman of the City of Olean Planning Board. Jim served on the Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees and was a longtime supporter of the JCC Campus in downtown Olean. In May of 2021 at the Cattaraugus Campus of JCC graduation, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws bestowed by the SUNY Board of Trustees. He was president of the Cattaraugus Empire Zone Corporation and has served as President of the County Board of Health. Jim served in the U.S Army, both active and reserve and is a member of the American Legion Post #530. Jim is survived by his wife, Paula, sister Elizabeth Knight, and is the father of four children Sydney (Tony) Evans, Joe (Barbara) Snyder, Amy (Arthur Koennig) Ehmann, Shayne (Hank) Certo, stepchildren Timothy (Natalie) Perrigo, and Maggie (Ryan) Kasperski. He is grandfather to Ryan Carr and Sean Carr, Sean Evan and Colin Evans, Lisa Wenke, Maggie Ehmann and Aubrey Ehmann, Victoria Certo and Andrea Certo, Celeste Kasperski and Chance Volgstadt, Bayley Volgstadt and Westin Perrigo and has 3 great grandchildren. He also leaves may lifelong friends including Richard Tanutus, Bob Tamutus, and Larry Carnicelli. Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. Memorials in Jim’s name will be gratefully accepted to HomeCare & Hospice, Olean General Hospital Foundation and the James J. Snyder Single Parent Scholarship Fund through the Jamestown Community College Foundation. Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 E. State St., Olean. Online condolences may be made at www.letromcintoshspinkfuneralhome.com
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