World War II Veteran, Brevard Entrepreneur Jack Raymond Snyder, 92, Passed Away Jan. 16

By  //  January 27, 2020

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Jack and his wife, Gail, built Merritt Island Commercial Center in Merritt Park Place

Jack Raymond Snyder, born January 30, 1927, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2020, at William Childs Hospice in Palm Bay, Florida.

Worked for Grumman Corporation, Retired at the Director Level

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Jack Raymond Snyder, born January 30, 1927, left this earth on January 16, 2020, after a brief illness.

Jack was the only child of Frank and Treva Snyder, grocery store owners in downtown Oklahoma City. Everything was different then. Oklahoma had only been a state for 20 years and was still a part of the “old west.”

Jack grew up working in the store, making deliveries on his bicycle with his loyal dog Jigg running alongside. Jack was the original “jack of all trades” – stock boy, janitor – and later meat cutter in the store. Later in life, Jack always ordered meat “cut to order” because he felt the butchers today don’t really know how to cut meat.

When World War II broke out, Jack joined the Merchant Marines and was on board a ship carrying war supplies to Europe in the North Atlantic.

On one fateful supply run, his ship was attacked by a German submarine and torpedoed, and he ended up in the cold water until rescued by another ship. He developed pneumonia and was hospitalized then discharged. After the war, Jack joined the U.S. Army and was an automotive mechanic in Europe until the troop dismissal.

Jack returned to the states and back to Oklahoma where he married, had two children, Sharon and Jim, and received his BS degree from Oklahoma State University.

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The Snyder family settled in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where Jack worked for Grumman Corporation, retiring at the Director level.

He got a job at Chance Vought (later LTV) in Grand Prairie, Texas, and began his engineering career. During his spare time, Jack and a neighbor, Bob Hammond, rented a warehouse and started building fiberglass boats.

The boats caught the eye of Lone Star Boats in Austin, and Bob Hammond took the design and went to Austin designing and building them.

Jack decided to stick with engineering, however, and his career took off. The family eventually settled in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where Jack worked for Grumman Corporation, retiring at the Director level.

Jack wasn’t finished yet, however, because he and his new wife, Gail (Smith) started The Finders Realty.

As it flourished locally, he realized the need for a national brand, so he purchased the first ERA franchise in Brevard County. Jack also developed property and worked with other developers to bring business enterprises to the area.

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Jack Snyder, second from left, purchased the first ERA franchise in Brevard County. He also developed property and worked with other developers to bring business enterprises to the area. Jack and his wife, Gail, built Merritt Island Commercial Center in the heart of Merritt Park Place, where it has been a successful small business and warehouse company for more than 40 years.

Jack and Gail built Merritt Island Commercial Center in the heart of Merritt Park Place, where it has been a successful small business and warehouse company for more than 40 years.

Jack’s interest in electronics never waned, however, and he started “Homeview” Satellite company in the 1980s, installing dish satellite systems all over the county to private homes and businesses.

Jack’s first love was his 1930 ‘A’ automobile when he was just 15 years old, and he started restoring 1930 Model ‘A’ Fords. He founded the ‘Space Coast Model A Ford Club” and held meetings in his garage.

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Jack Snyder’s last restoration was a 1930 Model A, 2-door Deluxe Phaeton, which has taken first place in its class by Model ‘A’ Ford Club (MARC). Jack loved working in his “shop” and had all the toys a big boy should.

His last restoration was a 1930 Model A, 2-door Deluxe Phaeton, which has taken first place in its class by Model ‘A’ Ford Club (MARC). Jack loved working in his “shop” and had all the toys a big boy should. He enjoyed visitors and enjoyed sharing his experience and knowledge with anyone who would listen. His motto was to “build them like Henry did.”

Gail predeceased Jack by eight months, and Jack’s wishes are to be buried along with Gail in their plot next to his son.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution in Jack’s honor may do so to William Childs Hospice House, 381 Medplex Pkwy. NE, Palm Bay, Florida 32907, or to the charity of their choice.

Jack Snyder’s interest in electronics never waned, however, and he started “Homeview” Satellite company in the 1980s, installing dish satellite systems all over the county to private homes and businesses.
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