Douglas D. Snyder Sr., steel worker

May 28, 1994|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Sun Staff Writer

Douglas Davis Snyder Sr., who followed his father into the mills of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant and worked there for 42 years, died Thursday after suffering a heart attack on the job. He was 62.

Mr. Snyder, a Rosedale resident, collapsed in Sparrows Point's Tandem Mill on Wednesday and died the next day at Francis Scott Key Medical Center.

"Dad was a roller, and he was so proud of what he did," said his daughter, attorney Sharon A. Snyder. "He helped take huge pieces of steel and roll it out thin enough for them to make all kinds of things. He was proud of contributing to the creation of something useful, something American."

Reared in East Baltimore near the corner of Ashland Avenue and Streeper Street, Mr. Snyder attended St. Katharine of Siena parish school, where, to the dismay of his Protestant parents, he converted to Catholicism.

Leaving school after the eighth grade, he took a job as an usher at the old State Theater on Monument Street, where he enjoyed comics and dancers and orchestras, beginning a lifelong love of live entertainment. He and his wife of 36 years, the former Dolores "Dee" LaCotti, held season tickets at the Mechanic and Lyric theaters and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Shortly before his death, the couple enjoyed a Doc Severinsen concert at the Meyerhoff.

At age 17, Mr. Snyder enlisted in the Marine Corps with the blessings of his father, who helped him fudge records of his weight because the youngster was too skinny. Almost immediately after his induction, the teen-ager shipped out to Korea, where he experienced combat. He was discharged from active duty in 1950 and two years later, after a discharge from the reserves, took his first of many jobs with Bethlehem Steel.

"More than anything, I identified him with his job," said his daughter. "He never missed a day except the few times he got hurt on the job."

Mr. Snyder and his wife, who lived in Dundalk before moving to Rosedale in 1977, enjoyed traveling and toured France, Italy, England, Ireland and Monaco.

He belonged to the Vols Pleasure Club, enjoyed books and movies about Sherlock Holmes, and was known as a sharp dresser.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Roman Catholic Church, 1220 Chesaco Ave., Rosedale.

Other survivors include a second daughter, Susan M. Snyder of Baltimore; a son, Douglas D. Snyder Jr. of College Park; a sister and brother, Deborah Snyder and David T. Snyder, both of Bel Air; and two grandchildren, Katie and Daniel Sullivan of Baltimore.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 415 N . Charles St., Baltimore 21201.

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