Lance’s obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette yesterday. The Tribune Review called Francine and a reporter did a short story that was printed today. I’m copying the text below to share with you. As a family, we are humbled that Lance’s volunteer work with the homeless would be highlighted. It would have been his wish that a greater story emerge from the sadness we all feel at his passing. As his brother, I will eulogize him tomorrow at St. Raphael’s church in Morningside, along with Morgan, so I will wait before I add my reflections to this blog after sharing with those so dear to come and shoulder our sorrow.
Real estate top seller had heart for homeless
Monday, April 16, 2012
Lance Snyder would sell millions of dollars worth of homes for Howard Hanna, then go Downtown at night and tuck in a homeless man.
“Here’s someone who sells a house but is the same person who knows what it’s like not to have a bed,” said Nancy Heil of Aspinwall, founder of an unnamed ministry for homeless people, for which Mr. Snyder volunteered. “But he would literally be the one to make that bed for him at night, lay a pad down, cover it with a sheet, give them a blanket and a pillow and actually tuck them in.”
Lance P. Snyder died of cancer on Friday, April 13, 2012, in his home in Aspinwall. He was 30.
He was born July 12, 1981, in O’Hara to Dr. Allen and Mary Ann Snyder. His father is a general surgeon.
Lance Snyder graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate. After jobs with companies in Virginia, he returned home in 2006 and began working for Howard Hanna. There he became a multimillion-dollar producer, said his wife, Francine Snyder of Aspinwall.
“Lance never wrote anybody off,” she said. “He said, ‘I don’t care if they come in a beat-up car and old clothes. Those are the people who may have the most money, those who don’t flaunt it, as opposed to some people who will drive up in a Mercedes wearing the newest trend. They’re the ones in debt with no money to spend.'”
The couple met through her sister and brother-in-law, who were building a home in a development in which Mr. Snyder was involved. The couples went on a double date at the former Hot Metal Grille in the South Side. Mr. Snyder ordered fresh flowers for their table.
“He didn’t eat his dinner because he was so nervous,” his wife recalled.
On a trip to Ireland, Mr. Snyder had a horse-drawn carriage waiting for them outside their hotel. The carriage drove through Killarney and a national park where a boat took them to an island. The couple spread a blanket over a huge, sunlit rock for a picnic, and Mr. Snyder proposed on bended knee with an engagement ring in his hand and tears in his eyes.
The Snyders went kayaking and biking and traveled to eight countries, including Belize and the Czech Republic. But his special love since the age of 3 was fly-fishing.
“Where he would connect with God was on the water,” Francine Snyder said. “When Lance would fish, it would feed his soul.”
Mr. Snyder went fly-fishing abroad once or twice a year. On a trip to Guatemala, he caught a sailfish that weighed about 200 pounds and required two people to lift.
He became involved in the homeless ministry when he was about 15. Heil said he not only loaded the vehicle but distributed supplies to the homeless, connecting with them on a personal level. He gave them jokes or hugs, whatever they needed.
“He has a heart of compassion that you’ve never seen,” she said.
Besides his wife, survivors include his parents; a sister, Ashley Frankis of Baltimore; brothers Morgan of Colorado Springs and Parker of Warsaw; grandparents Patrick and Nancy McCarren of Butler; and nine nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today in McCabe Bros. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut St., Shadyside. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Raphael Church, Morningside. Burial will be private.
The family suggests memorials be in the form of donations to the Pittsburgh Oratory, 4450 Bayard St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, in the name of “homeless ministry.”