Hubert I. Snyder, pioneering director of parks and recreation in county, dies

May 19, 1991

A memorial service for Hubert I. Snyder, the first director of RTC recreation and parks in Baltimore County, will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the auditorium of Edenwald, the retirement community at 800 Southerly Road in Towson where he had lived.

Mr. Snyder, who was 85, died of heart failure yesterday at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

He started in 1949 as the county's first director of recreation. The $10,000 budget of his first year grew to a $3,531,751 operating budget and a $1,500,000 capital budget by his retirement in 1971.

During his tenure, he organized half the 47 recreation councils around the county. Among the other improvements he oversaw were a chain of waterfront parks, three golf courses.

He became nationally known as an advocate of jointly operated recreation and park programs and shared school and recreation facilities.

Mr. Snyder was remembered yesterday by Wayne R. Harman, the present director of recreation and parks, as "a legend . . . a model of excellence that will challenge us throughout our careers."

In 1960, Mr. Snyder was named a fellow of the American Recreation Society, which he had served as secretary and chairman of the code of ethics committee. He was also named as one of 20 outstanding recreation and park leaders by the American Institute of Park Executives.

Chairman of the 1958 Governor's Conference on Recreation and Parks, he also chaired the regional Planning Council's Committee on Standards for Parks, Open Spaces and Recreation Facilities and the Maryland State Council on Parks.

A supporter of the Gunpowder State Park, he had worked to obtain state and federal funding for parks, including Project Open Space.

He also had been an executive committee member of the Division of Recreation and Education of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of Social Agencies.

Born in Clearville, Pa., where he maintained a farm for many years, he was a graduate of the Juniata Academy and Juniata College, where he majored in mathematics and physics. He also did graduate work at Pennsylvania State University.

In 1928 he began teaching and coaching sports at schools in Pennsylvania, eventually becoming athletic director at the Latrobe High School when eventual championship golfer Arnold Palmer was a student.

During World War II, he served as an American Red Cross field director in the Mediterranean.

Before coming to Baltimore County, he served as director of recreation in Latrobe.

He is survived by his wife, the former Marjorie Ewing; a daughter, Sally Ann Snyder of Towson; and a sister, Helen Mearkle of Clearville.

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