Woodallen Gene Snyder was born on May 22, 1944 in Gordon, Nebraska, the second of three children of Woodrow L. and Charlyn G. Watson Snyder. He died February 12, 2021 at the age of 76 years in the Cheyenne, Wyoming hospital. He grew up on a ranch south of Rushville, NE on Pine Creek. He attended elementary school grades 1-8 at District 98, known as the Mill School. Gene graduated from Rushville High School in 1962. He played football in high school and college. He attended Chadron State College for 3 years and then received his Doctor of Dentistry degree in 1969 from the University of Missouri Dental School in Kansas City, MO. He met the love of his life, Carol Sue Ward, while in dental school and they were married on August 19, 1967 in Burlington, KS. Three children were born to this union, Brian Gene, Kevin Dean and Angela Lynn.
Gene set up his first dental practice in 1969 in Bassett, NE. In 1970 he moved his practice to Rushville, NE. Carol worked with him in the Rushville office as secretary/bookkeeper until they both retired in 2011. He served patients from a large area surrounding Rushville. Former patients often remark about the size of his hands and how he would always ask you questions when he had his hands in your mouth. A toothache requiring attention after hours or on a weekend would most likely mean meeting him in his hunting or fishing clothes, if you were lucky enough to reach him.
He loved his family, hunting, fishing and gardening. Gene aka Doc, Geno, Tinkerbell or Tooth Fairy, was a big man with a gruff voice disguising his teddy bear interior. He enjoyed following his grandsons’ activities. He liked even more taking them hunting or fishing. As Gene was telling of their accomplishments you might see a tear rolling down his cheek. He had a great time on hunting and fishing trips with friends. If the weather prevented going out on the lake the cards came out and the stories and laughter abounded. Gene raised a huge garden every year. It was his pride and joy and provided vegetables of every variety for family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, sons Brian (Colette) of Rushville NE, Kevin (Angela) Topeka, KS, daughter Angela, Chadron, NE and 8 grandsons, Cole Witt, Riley Snyder, Tegan Snyder, Kazden Snyder, Talon Snyder, Slade Snyder, Hunter Townsend and Gunnar Townsend. Also surviving are brother-in-law Gerald Flaherty Thornton, CO, brother Ronnie (Jean) Rushville, NE, sisters-in-law Donna Schif, Bonner Springs, KS, Maxine Haverfield Shawnee, KS, uncle Donald Watson, Kalispell, MT, numerous nieces and nephews, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow and Charlyn Snyder, son-in-law Roger Townsend, sister Twilyn Snyder Flaherty, brothers-in-law, Larry Schif and Ken Haverfield, one nephew and two nieces.
A memorial service will be held later this spring. A memorial has been established to benefit the Smith Lake Wildlife Area.