Eleanor Snyder, city nutritionist

January 30, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

An obituary Sunday on Eleanor L. McKnight Snyder incorrectly listed the name of one organization and deleted the ,, other. Memorial donations may be made to the Maryland Dietetics Association Foundation, 212 Witherspoon Road, Baltimore 21212, or Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral Baltimore 21201.

The Sun regrets the error.

Eleanor L. McKnight Snyder, retired chief of the Division of Nutrition of the Baltimore Health Department, died of a heart attack Jan. 18 at her home in the Carrollton Condominiums in the city. She was 77.

She advocated such food programs for senior citizens as Meals on Wheels and mass feeding programs for young people, and originated Baltimore's Eating Together program. She also participated in many local, state and national nutritional studies.


In 1970, when she was elected chairwoman of the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association, she said in an interview in The Sun, "Only when children from all income levels -- both those from privileged homes and those we know as deprived -- have one nutritionally sound meal every day, can we be sure that malnourishment is eliminated as a major contributing factor toward mental retardation.

"It is [as] important to serve a balanced, nutritious meal to every school child, regardless of income, as it is to provide free books and good teachers for every child."

She was born in Broomall, Pa. The family moved to Sudlersville, Queen Anne's County, in 1920 when her father, who taught agriculture, took a teaching position in the local high school.

She was a 1932 graduate of Cambridge High School and earned a bachelor's degree from James Madison University in 1937. She completed a dietetic internship at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia before beginning her career as a dietitian at Milford (Del.) Memorial Hospital.

During World War II, she joined the Army Medical Corps and was a dietitian in the hospital at Fort Benning, Ga., and later in hospitals in the European Theater.

She earned a master's degree in 1947 from Simmons College in Boston and joined the Baltimore Health Department in 1949.

In 1970, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported her death, and her family received phone calls and cards. The mix-up happened when a computer sent a membership renewal notice to another Eleanor Snyder who had died.

Laughing over the incident, she said, "I immediately thought, 'That's silly -- here I am.' Then I wondered about the poor Eleanor Snyder who's gone -- has anyone paid any attention to her?"

She was a devoted reader of newspapers and loved good conversation.

"The art of conversation is lost today, but it wasn't lost on her," said state Sen. Julian L. Lapides of Baltimore, a longtime friend.

"She was an inveterate reader of newspapers and especially The Sun and was found dead in bed with the paper. She was the best-informed individual I've ever known. Just a terrific person."

"She was a staunch Democrat and was a collector of everything," her sister Marjorie M. Clements of Sudlersville recalled.

Her husband, William T. Snyder, who owned a public relations firm, died in 1981. They had lived in the 800 block of Park Ave. for many years.

She was a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Public Health Association and the Baltimore Bibliophiles.

A memorial service was planned for 2:30 p.m. today at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Cathedral and Read streets, Baltimore.

Survivors include another sister, Frances McKnight of Chestertown; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to the Maryland Diabetes Foundation, 212 Witherspoon Road, Baltimore 21212.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.