Taken from his loved ones too soon, Matthew Snyder was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was a hardworking man who was driven to succeed, and he gave everything his all. To say that Matt liked to talk may be an understatement, and he could also be such a prankster. He treasured spending time with his family and friends no matter what they were doing, even in the everyday stuff. Matt was known for putting the needs of others ahead of his own, and he was always willing to help others in ways both great and small. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
The 1980s were an exciting time in American history. Technology was transforming before our eyes and with it came things like the VCR, camcorders, and gaming systems. Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Tom Cruise became household names while television shows like the Cosby Show and Family Ties changed our view of the average American family. Also during this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Donald E. and Leisa R. Snyder as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of June unfolded in Whitley County, Indiana, in 1985. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Matthew James drew his first breath in Whitley County Memorial Hospital on June 9th. He was raised on a farm in the countryside near South Whitley alongside his older brother, Chad.
Matt was all boy right from the start. He enjoyed things like riding the tractor with his dad and also going fishing with his dad and brother. Matt rode 4-wheelers and dirt bikes, and he spent plenty of time hiding in the woods and building forts in the hay mounds with his brother. He was certainly an adventurous as a boy, and this was something that did not wear off as he grew older. Matt took Taekwondo lessons and played football at Whitko Middle School. In middle school he also started wrestling and competed as a wrestler throughout his school career. Matt went on to graduate from Whitko High School in 2004.
As his family and friends can attest, Matt was one to work hard. He was a senior when he started working at Miner Stock Farm, and he also started working at Whitley Welding that same year. There, Matt fine-tuned his TIG, MIG, stick, and gas welding skills. In addition to welding, he spent time working as a mechanic at Rawleigh Automotive in Columbia City. In 2007, Matt started working with his brother at Yagel Grain Systems in Columbia City as a Millwright.
Always one to be busy, Matt enjoyed several interests. He enjoyed being with family and friends, spending time outdoors whether he was riding 4-wheelers, hunting for deer, shooting, fishing at Barbee Lake, or mushroom hunting. A bit fearless, Matt also loved drag racing his 1987 Mustang 5.0 L car at the Muncie drag strip, kayaking, and canoeing. In addition, he loved camping, especially in Mesick, Michigan, and Brookville, Indiana with his family and friends. While growing up, Matt and his brother went with their grandparents down to Florida several times and to South Carolina as well. Later on, he loved spending time his nephews, and he was very close with both Layne and Reid.
With a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near, Matthew Snyder was such a blessing. He could be a bit ornery at times, yet he was also fun-loving and generous beyond compare. Matt exemplified what it means to work hard, and although he accomplished so much of which to be proud he was humble and accepting of everyone he met. He will be remembered for his sense of adventure, his sparkling spirit, and his fantastic sense of humor. Life will never be the same without Matt here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
Matthew James Snyder, 31, South Whitley, passed away at 11:03 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, at Parkview Randallia in Fort Wayne from injuries sustained in a 4-wheeler accident that occurred on Aug. 6.
Survivors include his father, Don (Vicky) Snyder, of Silver Lake; mother, Leisa Arter, of Pierceton; brother, Chad (Christelle) Snyder, of South Whitley; step-sister, Holly (Craig) Owens, of Silver Lake; maternal grandparents, Jim and Sonja Burch, of Fort Wayne; paternal grandmother, Mary Snyder, of Milford; nephews, Layne and Reid Snyder; step- nephews, Ethan and Eli Owens; step-niece, Emilee Owens; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Matt was preceded in death by his step-father, John Arter; paternal grandfather, Donald Snyder Sr.; niece, Camdyn Snyder; aunt, Norma Baker; and his pup, pit bull, Diesel.
Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with Certified Funeral Celebrant Sharon Brockhaus officiating. Matt will be laid to rest beside his niece at South Whitley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials may be given to Matt’s nephews he loved so much Layne, and Reid Snyder, in care of Chad Snyder.