Kent Wayne Snyder, 1959-2008

Kent Wayne Snyder, 1959-2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kent Snyder

Kent Snyder is a man who stands above others but doesn't look down at others.

Kent was a friend that most people would cherish to call a friend. There are no adjectives that would truly describe how Kent lived his life, how he treated others, how he loved his family and how he saw only good in others. He really had many Christ like qualities that we know Jesus had while on earth, but most of us fall short of possessing.

I had the privilege of calling Kent my friend since Jr. High, through High School, though College and as a roommate after college as we were making our mark on the world. He had a contagiously enthusiastic personality that you knew would leave a lasting legacy on this world. I am not surprised at what he accomplished knowing Kent for many years and by the outpouring of affection and admiration he had from his friends.

I am at peace knowing I got to share a dinner conversation with Kent recently in D.C. while catching up with this remarkable person with laughter that seemed as if it were 1981 all over again. I have only seen Kent 2 times in the last 20 years but it is if time stood still and we picked up where we left off.

Kent is a man that what you see is what you get. No agendas, no ulterior motives, just a genuine love and concern for all people and a passion for life and liberty. When I think of Kent, I smile as I think of his personality and how he enjoyed a good bantering of humor with people. His influence on my life is still apparent today. Kent had a love of flying and aviation and decided to learn to fly when we were 20 years old. I would not have completed getting my pilots license if not for Kent's addictive encouragement. I would not keep my shoes polished today if not for Kent's standard of appearance. I would not use the word "scheme" or "scheming" in my vocabulary today without thinking of Kent in an endearing way.

I use the last name "Snyder" when making a restaurant reservation as it is easier to spell and pronounce than mine. My family knows the origin of this habit and asked if it wouldn't be easier if we just changed our last name to Snyder. I would not have enjoyed listening to Isaac Hayes or Teddy Pendergrass or Ray Charles or other artists that Kent introduced me to. I would not say the word cinnamon the way it was designed to be pronounced but only as Kent used to say " Cinnamumnamumnamum"( you had to hear it first hand to know what I mean).

We all have had mentors in our lives that leave impressions on what we become with the greatest of those usually our parents. Kent definitely made some lasting impressions on me as a man, husband and father. Kent was very close to his mother and loved, cherished and revered her at a very high level. They had a mutual respect for each other but above all they did love each other greatly. Kent told me recently how he admired and appreciated his dad and had real concern for his heath as if he were responsible to him for his health. He truly loved his dad. He smiled as wide as the grand canyon when talking to me about his sisters, Missy and Deana. He would have done anything to protect and guide them as they became young adults and grown women. He had a great concern and passion for his brother Rodney and only wanted the best for him despite their differences.

In the book of John, Chapter 15, Verse 13 says:

"Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".

This verse comes to mind when I think of Kent and all the people in his life that I believe he would have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I know you are in Christ's loving arms Kent. We will all miss you until that day we meet again.

Your friend. Tom

Tom Schweder

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Well put. A very nice tribute to Kent. It brought back a fresh/flood of memories. Ray Charles (Get Back Jack), the Supremes (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough), etc. His penchant for a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich (it had to be Skippy) and practical jokes (locking me out of the apartment in my underwear. And if that wasn’t enough he calls the Lawrence police, and with a straight face, convince them that he didn’t know me) and the list goes on and on. As you know, Kent had a way to make a person reach higher and higher. A true inspiration. But he was one helluva a fun guy to hang around with. The last time I saw Kent was when he visited my family up in Grand Rapids Michigan for a couple days in 88. I had regrettably lost touch with him after that. When I learned of his death, it hit me sudden and hard. I still can’t believe he’s passed. My prayers are with his family whom he adored so much.

Jeff Havens