Mary Elizabeth Snyder, 91, homemaker, church member and prize-winning quilter

April 09, 2001|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

Mary Elizabeth Snyder, a devoted mother and church member and talented quilt maker, died April 2 of pneumonia at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

A resident of the Wesley Home in Mount Washington, Mrs. Snyder was 91.

Mary Davis was born in Marshallberg, N.C., and moved to Maryland as a young girl with her family. Her father, the Rev. Thomas S. Davis, was pastor of several Methodist churches in the state.

Mr. Davis' longest pastorate was at Caroline Street United Methodist Church in Baltimore, where Mrs. Snyder spent most of her childhood with her two brothers and three sisters.

She graduated from Baltimore's Eastern High School and earned a degree in art history from American University in Washington in 1934.

At American University, Mrs. Snyder joined the Phi Mu academic sorority, of which she became a lifelong member.

A year after graduating, she married Edward Phillip Snyder and became a mother of two and a homemaker.

In 1953, the Snyder family joined Grace United Methodist Church. There, Mrs. Snyder became known for her leadership and participation as a Sunday school teacher, and for the development of the church preschool program and various women's groups' activities.

Mrs. Snyder was also known for the quilts she contributed each year to the "Grandma's Attic" flea-market booth at the church's Spring Country Fair.

The quilts reflected her love for the church and Christian fellowship, family members said.

Her unusual quilting talent was almost legendary, said her daughter-in-law, Sarah Snyder of Lutherville.

She didn't just stitch flowers and pretty patterns, Sarah Snyder said. Instead, most of her quilts had some personal or historical theme or touch.

One such quilt, which hung for a time in the Baltimore Convention Center, was the story of Mrs. Snyder's life and a pictorial account of Baltimore history - complete with panels depicting workers selling coal and ice and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad employees.

"It was a one-of-a-kind item," Sarah Snyder said. "She was a real artist with quilting and embroidering. She won prizes at the State Fair. She made wonderful Christmas decorations, which she gave to people. She would draw pictures and then embroider them, always things that she sketched or experienced."

In 1992, Mrs. Snyder became a long-term resident of Wesley Home.

She is survived by a daughter, Ellen S. Hale of Alpharetta, Ga.; a son, John E. Snyder of Lutherville; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Thursday at Grace United Methodist Church. Donations may be made in Mrs. Snyder's name to Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210.

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