Ronald Murl Snyder was called to heaven on December 26, 2020 at Boone Hospital in Columbia, MO, after a valiantly fought battle with Covid-19 related pneumonia. He resided in Macon, MO, and was a member of the 1st Christian Church there.
Ron was born in Unionville, MO, on January 13, 1944. He spent his childhood on the family farm in Lucerne with his beloved parents Murl & Jessie Snyder, and his older siblings Duane and Wanda (Whitney). The farm is still in the family to this day and is a registered Century Farm.
Ron & Donna (Cooper) were married Dec. 27, 1963, while on semester break. The wedding was at the Methodist Church in Unionville where Donna’s father, Joseph Cooper, served as pastor. They were high school sweethearts and voted Most Popular Couple. They would have been married 57 years on Dec. 27, 2020.
Ron graduated from Unionville High School in 1961 and received a football scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia. His last game was the 1966 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Tigers won (due in no small part to Ron sacking the ever-loving crud out of Steve Spurrier multiple times) and Ron received the game ball. The Tigers 1965 team was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. After a short period of time in professional football with the St. Louis Cardinals he decided to return to the classroom.
After receiving his master’s degree in Education at UMC, Ron taught and coached at the Fort Osage High School in Buckner, and Normandy High School in St. Louis. The next year he moved into coaching at the college level and was at Duke University for one year then back at Mizzou for 4 years. Ron had the wonderful opportunity to go to four bowls. Two as a player, the Blue Bonnet Bowl and Sugar Bowl, then two as a coach at the Sun Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl. His “Grid Iron Warrior” approach to football would translate to and inform his entire working life. The friends and memories made during his playing and coaching years would last a lifetime and be deeply treasured.
As a lifelong entrepreneur Ron had the uncanny ability to see creative solutions that were hidden to most. He was a tremendously, unreasonably hard worker who enjoyed his employees and the camaraderie and pride of a job well done. He was the guy that knew the janitor’s name and he showed up, in all the ways that matter, for anyone willing to work. Ron was intimately involved in the renovation to Faurot Field as well as the construction of the basketball arena. As he left the house each morning, if anyone was up to see him off, he would say “I’m off to conquer the world.” His commitment to caring for and providing for his family were his last thoughts. His last words were to yell “I love you.” How fitting.
Ron and Donna shared a lifelong passion for MU football and basketball. He truly enjoyed watching his son, Cooper, play through high school and college and his grandson Josey, play his first year of flag football just this past summer. When presented with his first grandchild, Jaylon, he took to being Poppy like a duck to water. Being a grandfather was an incredible joy to him. His granddaughter Grace was the apple of Ron’s eye. Ron was competitive, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. He had a quick and intelligent wit and was fearless in telling it like it is. Float trips on the current river, with one of his best friends and brother-in-law Bob Herrick, were an annual event from 1962 until 2019. These float trips evolved from rowdy college students to family trips to father son float trips. He loved spending time at the family farm named for him, “The Legend’s Lodge” reconnecting with North Missouri friends and the beloved Wainscott family. Pheasant hunts were prime territory for good and mostly appropriate stories. “Near Death Experiences” (as Donna referred to them) with his daughter, Elizabeth, were not nearly as dangerous as Donna made them out to be and became the stuff of family legend. He was defined by sweat equity. If you broke a sweat with him, just know he loved you.
He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife Donna, daughter Elizabeth, and son Cooper. Grandchildren: Jaylon, Joseph & Grace Snyder. His brother and best friend Duane & his wife Janice. Nieces & Nephews: Darin, Eric, Jenae (Young), David Whitney, Debbie Whitney, Jason & Joe Herrick, Jenny Irwin & Jamie Quick.
He was preceded in death by his parents Murl & Jessie Snyder, sister Wanda (Whitney) and her husband Duane Whitney, their grandson Kendall Whitney, Bob & Darlene Herrick.
Visitation will be Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 10:00 am with funeral to follow at 11:00. Services will be provided by Playle & Collins Funeral Home, 709 27th Street, Unionville, MO, 63565, and conducted by Dr. Dave Leslie pastor at the 1st Christian Church in Macon. Music will be provided by Toni Rieckeberg and John Wiggins. Ron’s favorite music, Willie Nelson’s Stardust, will be played during visitation.