Abraham Snyder, 91, ran clothing store

January 19, 2004|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Abraham "Al" Snyder, a retail clothier who operated a store in Highlandtown for more than four decades, died of complications from pneumonia Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 91.

"All he knew was work and his family," said a son, Phillip Snyder of Pikesville. "He had his shop on Eastern Avenue when the merchants all knew each other. Willie Haussner [founder of the old Haussner's Restaurant] would order cashmere socks from my father, my father got carryout from him. It was a different town then."

Mr. Snyder's work ethic remained so strong that until last year - at 90 - he would help his grandson, Joseph Uddeme, at his Towson store, The Other Side.

"He was just a remarkable man, knew nothing but retail and loved it," Mr. Uddeme said.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Snyder grew up in South Baltimore and graduated from City College in 1930.

Shortly after graduation, he joined his four brothers - all now deceased - to open Snyder's Quality Shop at 3318 Eastern Ave. They followed the lead of their father, Morris, who owned a men's clothing store at Gay and Aisquith streets that he started in the 1920s.

Family members said that while Mr. Snyder's brothers eventually went into other lines of work, he remained at his store in the hub of Highlandtown's busy commercial district selling men's clothing.

"He always wore a suit, his shoes were always shined," said the grandson. "And he truly liked people. They would come to his store after they moved away, to shop or just visit."

Mr. Snyder served as president of the Highlandtown Merchants Association in the 1950s.

The Highlandtown neighborhood changed, family members said, and Mr. Snyder closed his store in the early 1980s. Nonetheless, he continued to work less than a block away at a tuxedo rental shop and then later at his grandson's store in Towson whose stock has included candles, incense and hemp clothing.

He was a longtime member of Yedz Grotto and member of the Jacob Sandy Lodge of the Maryland of the Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Snyder was an avid fan of the Baltimore Colts. "Like many Baltimore families, we had season tickets for years on the 50-yard line," Phillip Snyder said.

Services were held Wednesday.

In addition to his son and grandson, Mr. Snyder is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Rae Landsman; another son, Michael Snyder of DeBary, Fla.; a daughter, Anita Blanchfield of Casselberry, Fla.; seven other grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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