William F. "Duke" Snyder

May 16, 2013 

BARNES CORNERS, N.Y.    William “Duke” Francis Snyder, 75, major U.S.M.C. (Ret), died at his camp in the town of Harrisburg on Wednesday afternoon May 15. 

He was born April 17, 1938, on the Cobb Road in the Town of Harrisburg, the elder son of the late Harvey Francis and Catherine Pasternak Snyder.

Bill enjoyed attending the many family sporting events, huge gatherings of family and friends at Snyder’s Swamp, gardening and bird watching.

He always had P.M.A. and will be sadly missed by all who loved him. He will always be remembered.

Surviving are five children, Joseph Michael and William Harvey, Barnes Corners, Jon William, Michelle Nicole and Deborah Yvonne, Fallbrook, Calif.; two brothers, Douglas of New York Mills and Gilbert and his wife Diane, Vancouver, Wa.; two sisters-in-law, Linda, Mannsville, and Ethel of Copenhagen; many nieces, nephews, cousins, great nieces and great nephews. Bill is additionally survived by numerous extended family and friends.

Two brothers, Eugene Harvey and Jerry Leroy, both died before him.

Bill graduated from Copenhagen Central School, 1957, Cortland State, 1961, National University, CA (M.S.) 1985. He joined the Navy on October 10, 1955 and later transferred to the Marine Corps and retired as a major on May 1, 1981.

After Basic Officer School, 1962, he served aboard the CVS-33, U.S.S. Kearsarge in support of the Mercury Space Program recovering the space ships off the waters of Hawaii.

Over the years, he served at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Okinawa, Japan, Camp Lejuene, N.C., Springfield, Mass., Quantico, Va., and at MCRD San Diego, Calif. During those years, he served two tours in Viet-Nam, ’65-’66 and ’68-’69 earning a Bronze Star and Presidential Unit Citation 1 and eleven other awards, plus Navy-Marine Corps parachute wings, scuba diving badge and the Vietnamese parachute wings.

Bill commanded an Ontos Company on his 1st tour landing at Chin Lai, Viet-Nam with the 7th Marine Regt. Landing Team. On his 2nd tour he commanded 3rd Force Recon. Co. conducting patrols along the border between South and North Viet-Nam from Dong Ha to Khe Sanh.

His military schools included: Officer Basic Class, 1962, Quantico, VA; Command and Staff College, 1973, Quantico, VA; Scuba Diving School, Subic Bay, Philippines, 1968; U.S. Army Airborne Course, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 1st Special Forces, Don Ba Thin, Republic of Viet-Nam, 1968. Bill earned the distinction of Distinguished Honor Graduate. He obtained the distinction of being the top student in competition with other airborne trainees in a course that required rigorous physical application and acute mental awareness.

Major Snyder was a life member of both the Lewis County Detachment #754 and the Lewis County Memorial Post #6912 V.F.W.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Monday, May 20, at Sundquist Funeral Home, Lowville, with Rev. Samuel P. Lundy, Anglican Priest Marine Corps chaplin, officiating. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Copenhagen with military honors.

Callings hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 19, followed by a prayer service conducted by the Lewis County Detachment #754 at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. 

A note of sympathy can placed online at

Memorial contributions may be made to: Lewis County Detachment #754 Marine Corps League.

Information provided by Sundquist Funeral Home and Newzjunky, Watertown, N.Y.