Memorial service held for George Snyder

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Respects paid at Central City’s Masonic Lodge No. 6

by Patty Unruh

A memorial service for George R. Snyder was held on Saturday, June 30, at 1:00 p.m. at Central City’s historic Masonic Lodge No. 6. Snyder passed away at his home in Central City on November 24, 2017. A large number of his many friends and fellow Lodge members came to pay their respects at the service.

The front of the Lodge was appointed with a few simple but meaningful items, including candles, a lovely basket of flowers, and a painting by Dumont artist Larrice Sell that included a montage of scenes from the Lodge. The painting had been presented to Snyder as a surprise prior to a 2015 ceremony honoring him for 50 years of service at the Central City Lodge.

Cindy gave welcoming remarks. “Thank you all for coming. We had so many good memories here, and it makes me feel happy that you have come. George would have liked this.”

She invited guests to share comments about her husband. People’s remarks showed the high regard in which he was held.

“George was very important to us.”

“George was a huge buddy. There is a saying – ‘learn, earn, return.’ You’ve certainly returned.”

Two brief ceremonies were performed by officers of the Masonic Lodge. The first ceremony was the Rose Croix, or Rosy Cross, ceremony (Scottish Rite Masonry), conducted by Wise Master Scott Bates, Senior Warden Rick Wenzel, and Junior Warden Dick Mitchell.

The men noted the long and distinguished service that Snyder had given in the fraternity and acknowledged, “In death, all are equal. God alone distinguishes our souls. We can see the faces of those we loved shining like stars upon us. Let us endeavor to leave the world better and ask God’s assistance to do our duty.”

A red rose was taken from the center of a white cross and the rose’s symbolism explained as that of life and immortality, while the cross was an ancient emblem of life, as well as suffering and sorrow.

A hymn was played, noting the deceased’s rest from labor.

The Rosy Cross ceremony was concluded with a scripture from the Holy Bible, “Death will be swallowed up in victory.”

The second ceremony followed, conducted by Ted Brown, Worshipful Master for the Blue Lodge division of the Central City Lodge, and Worshipful Brothers Andy Newby and Keiser Holbird.

Brown paid a final tribute of affection and esteem toward the departed Brother and expressed the earnest hope of the Masons, “that we shall live again. May we be reminded of our approaching fate, and may God’s mercy dispel the gloom of death.”

The Blue Lodge officers presented a scroll to Cindy memorializing her husband’s Masonic accomplishments. Snyder was born on December 8, 1938. He was a member of the Central City Lodge No. 6 A.F.&A.M., was initiated an Entered Apprentice on April 14, 1965, passed to a Fellowcraft on May 12, 1965, and raised to a Master Mason on August 14, 1965. Snyder served as Worshipful Master of the Lodge in 1987, 2005, and 2006, and was an honored 50-plus year member. He joined his Maker on November 24, 2017.

Snyder’s Masonic lambskin apron, an emblem of innocence and purity, was retired in his honor and placed on the Mason’s Bible, which dates from the 1850’s.

Evergreen sprigs were laid on the apron to signify faith and immortality. The Masons placed three red roses over the evergreens, stating, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

A time for guests to offer condolences to Cindy and to share memories of George followed. Lunch was provided, along with a slide presentation of Snyder’s life. These included baby and high school graduation photos, the many athletic teams he had coached over 45-plus years, and scenic shots of the Snyders’ beloved Colorado. Cindy had selected meaningful songs to accompany the slides, including “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” “Rocky Mountain High,” and “Proud to be an American.”

Friends lingered over special memorabilia – the gavel that Cindy presented when her husband became head of the Lodge in 1987, the black cowboy hat he received when he was made Worshipful Master in 2005, a 2006 plaque acknowledging his work to preserve the historic Lodge, a 50-year service award granted in 2015, and Snyder’s Knights Templar sword.

George had also been an integral part of the Central City Elks Lodge No. 557 for 50 years, serving as Exalted Ruler in 1996-1997.

A plaque in George’s memory was displayed recalling his service to the Masonic Lodge. “George was a big part of our Lodge in Central City and a very active member of the Central City community. His desire to serve was unsurpassed and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

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