Congratulations to CHARLES F. “CHIP” SNYDER JR. for being the Emerald Hometown Hero for the month of September!
When I look back at my youth growing up in the City of Lancaster in the 400 block of East King St above our family’s funeral home, Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes, it brings a big smile to my face. I am the person I am today because of all the experiences I had living in the city that I love. Life was very different in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, you played outside as much as you possibly could. Plus growing up in the city, you made friends with so many people in your neighborhood. Some of my fondest memories were at the Boy’s Club of Lancaster. I would come home from St. Anthony Parochial School, change my clothes and off I ran down to the Boy’s Club to play sports and hang out with all my friends. My first job was in Lancaster at age 13 when I became a newspaper boy. I had 125 customers, I delivered papers to their homes and I had to go collect the money from them weekly. Every Saturday morning, I would take my collections down to the Lancaster Newspaper office and pay my papers off and what was left over was my pay check for the week. At age 16, when I got my Driver’s License, I began to work with my father at the funeral home on East King St where we also lived above the business. From an early age we were faced with the importance of how to greet people who came to the funeral home, learn how to answer phone calls and write down important messages (we didn’t have an answering service until 1985). When I graduated Mortuary School in 1975, I started right away working for my father. He was a wonderful mentor. I watched and learned how he took care of people from all walks of life and how important the funeral director job is for all the families we serve. Somebody comes to you and asks you to help them at the most difficult time in their life. They hand over to you something so precious when a loved one dies. I learned so much working with my father. With my loving wife, Doreen, we bought our first home in downtown Lancaster and our two children (Chad and Christina) were raised at the home. I owe a lot to all the years growing up in Lancaster and how it shaped my life from the work ethic, diversity of friends and the family bonds created. Giving back to your community is one of the highlights I have enjoyed over the past forty-six years I have been in business. Doing the little things to help people out that nobody knows about is what I really care about and get much satisfaction in doing good deeds. Giving of yourself with your time is also very important to me volunteering. One of my beloved organizations is SHARE of Lancaster. I have been involved with SHARE since 1982. It is a resource to help parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy. I am also currently on the Capital Campaign drive for Lancaster Catholic High School. I have been a long-standing board member for Woodward Hill Cemetery. I have also had a long-term relationship with Sertoma Service to Mankind which supports Long’s Park. Over the years I have been involved with many boards and organizations. Faith has always been important to me as well. I was raised in a Catholic household and am a Member of St. John Neumann. My lovely wife, Doreen, is a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and we are active with both congregations. I now have a new title I am enjoying and that is Papou (Greek for Grandfather). I have five beautiful grandchildren and want to spend time with them and enjoy them as much as possible. This past year and a half has been very hard on our county. We, at the Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes, have tried our best to accommodate everyone who lost a loved one with COVID-19 or who did not die from COVID. We all were affected by mandates and policies. We will continue to be a front-runner in helping people who have had a loved one pass away. My son, Chad, myself and our staff have made that promise to all in our community. We will always be there to help everyone we can. Lastly, thank you to Emerald Asset Management and the Emerald Foundation for this wonderful Honor to recognize me as a Hometown Hero. I will continue to live up to these expectations. God bless everyone!
The Emerald Hometown Hero award was created in 2015 in partnership with the Lancaster Barnstormers to recognize and honor outstanding individuals in our local community who have worked to make Lancaster and our world a better place through hard work, inspiration, sacrifice and leadership.