Dennis Robert Snyder

August 26, 1946 - November 4, 2021

Dennis Robert Snyder of Fort Myers, FL passed away on November 4, 2021. Dennis was born in South Haven, MI on August 26, 1946.

He graduated from South Haven Highschool in 1965, where he enjoyed playing football and basketball. He attended Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, MI where he received a Bachelors Degree in Education and Masters in Physical Education. He taught for 2 years at Otsego Public Schools in Otsego, MI before moving to Fort Myers, FL where he taught physical education at Orange River Elementary School for 36 years. His love for teaching is evident in the generations of students who continued to be a part of his life, beyond their graduation. Dennis started learning photography during his years of teaching and took numerous pictures of his students. After retiring Dennis’s love of photography inspired him to become a freelance photographer. As a freelancer, he photographed Orange River Elementary, middle, and high school and Florida Gulf Coast University sporting events as well as Western Michigan University Football and Volleyball games. Dennis spent his summers in Kalamazoo, MI and with his camera in hand he loved photographing family events. Photography was his passion and favorite pastime along with playing golf with his closest friends. His other love was anything and everything related to the Olympics and he was a part of a National Committee to promote the Olympics in schools. He attended the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1988 and the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, US in 1996.

Dennis was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia (Snyder) Braschler and Joseph Snyder of South Haven, MI.

He is survived by his brother, David L. Snyder and wife Janet Snyder; niece, Jennifer Sankey (Anand Sankey), nephew, Joseph Snyder; grandniece, Anna Sankey and grandnephews, Joshua Snyder and Josef Snyder, and extended Drenth, Bartels, Rydecki, Braschler, Kennedy, Karen Connors and Farnsworth families.

The family will receive friends for a time of visitation from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Saturday, January 15, 2022 at the Orange River Elementary School Pavilion, 4501 Underwood Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33905.

Visitation for family and friends remembering Dennis’s life will be held in South Haven, MI at Filbrandt Funeral Home on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 2 PM – 4 PM.

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Western Michigan University Gary Fund, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008 or the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee Fund, Attn: USOPC Development, 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.


  1. David Guminski Nov 17, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Denny I could not have had a better teammate and friend as you in high school. You always had a smile on your face and you cheered me up when I was down and I really appreciated it. Having you as a teammate in 1965 and the run we made was mystical. South Haven Class B State Runners Up. GO RAMS

  2. Sue Sherman Meeuwenberg Nov 17, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Denny (as those of us from South Haven called you), we have been friends for a very long time. When you reached out quite a few years ago and wanted to stay in touch, it warmed my heart. We certainly did keep in touch with Summer lunches with other classmates and our exchanging of many emails and texts. You have so many people who love you and will miss you. RIP, my dear friend.

  3. Sandy Dopp Nov 17, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    I will always remember Dennis no matter who you were Dennis acknowledged you as a friend. Not only did I have the pleasure of knowing Dennis but also had the privilege of working with his mother. RIP Dennis.

  4. Correen Hall Nov 17, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    So sorry to see this. My kids all had him at Orange River and he was loved by all his students. He always had a smile for them and treated them all equally.

  5. Wilma J Geier Nov 18, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Rest in peace

  6. Johnb Geier Nov 18, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Great friend!

  7. Tom and Mary Rine and family The Britton’s and Rine’s Nov 18, 2021 at 8:55 am

    This saddens our hearts. Dennis was
    A neighbor but we also had the pleasure of him leading all for of our
    Children into athletics, his encouragement, smiles and knowledge was like no other . I ran into Dennis for the last time a few days before he passed. We had a great conversation and exchanged numbers as I had not seen him in I would imagine 10 Years or so. Fly high Dennis You were a great man and educator ♥️

  8. Toni Tichenor Nov 18, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Dennis, Denny, I well remember as the PE coach/teacher at Orange River Elementary school. My first teaching job in the Fort Myers, Lee County area was as your PE assistant. You welcomed me with open arms and taught me many, many different skills, also, you taught both my children but most of all you taught me the love and respect of Sports(PE) and the importance it is to your body. Our world would be a better place if there were more caring men like you! Thank you for your life well spent and all of the lives you have touched!

  9. Linda J Marble Nov 18, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Denny, I looked forward to our summer lunches every year. You will be sorely missed.

  10. Karen Connors Nov 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

    I will always treasure the friendship we had for over 40 yrs.. Nothing can take away the many special laughs, stories , memories or times shared over the years . I treasure the time we had together . May you play your best game of golf now . You have the best seat in the house for all the sports events and Olympics . LORDS BLESSINGS UPON YOU .

  11. Linda and Randy Bartels Nov 18, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    When our family moved to South Haven in 1950, Denny and his brother,David were our first friends. We remained friends for 70:years. Denny was a big part of our lives. We shared holidays, teaching ideas, shopping trips, photography tips, gardening ideas, and many days just hanging out. If you met Denny he was your friend .We treasure all our memories of Denny and greatly miss him.

  12. Jeanne Blaney Nov 18, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I taught at Orange River for 20 years. I remember he told his replacement, a young, thin and fit, and cute man (sorry can’t remember his name): I looked like you when I started teaching here.
    After Dennis retired and recently, I would run into him at the grocery store. He always had time to talk.

  13. Susan Cooper Nov 18, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Denny, when your brother David and my sister Janet married, it was the start of our wonderful kinship. Throughout the years, we shared many memories. It wasn’t complete unless you were there. As many have mentioned, you always had a smile. Your laughter was contagious. Rest in peace Denny. You are loved.

  14. Suzy McGill Nov 18, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    This really makes so sad. I will always remember you from my time at Orange River Elementary. I’m pretty sure I had a crush on you. You were so nice and kind.
    Really didn’t like running all those laps though 💕
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  15. Dorothy Cutshaw Nov 18, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    So sorry to hear from David of Denny’s passing.. We were like family with the connection of his Uncle Steve and my mom. We spent holidays together at grandma Snyder’s and enjoyed her cooking and had wonderful memories and good laughs during those times. RIP, Denny. So many will miss you.

  16. Angelina Nov 18, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    To me you were Mr. Snyder, you were the perfect PE teacher. Supportive and encouraging but expected us to do our best. It was a blessing to be your student and your neighborhood. Caribbean will not be the same without you.

  17. Kathy Pilkington Nov 22, 2021 at 4:41 am

    Dennis was a great neighbor and good friend. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

  18. Carla Jan 11, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Coach was an amazing Man. We remember our last time with him very well. I graduated 36 yrs ago and still remember his gentle kindness taking care of me when I got hit in between the eyes with a soft ball. Told me not to ice it or I would get black eyes I did and he was right. Came in gym the next day and he just shook his head RIP Coach fly higg

  19. Nicholas Huenefeld Feb 12, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Dennis was a wonderful human being. I worked with him at FGCU the past four years. He donated so much of his time there despite some health issues in recent years. He will truly be missed!

  20. Linwood Ferguson Feb 13, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    I just heard about Dennis’ passing. He was my sports shooting friend for many years at FGCU. He will be missed.

  21. Joan Vigneau Sep 26, 2022 at 1:38 am

    I just found out about Dennis’ passing, on the internet today (.Sept 26, 2022), and we are truly a bit shocked and surprised. having moved to Maggie Valley, NC seasonally in 2003, and permanently in 2017. As a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Orange River School in Ft. Myers, FL for 26 years, we were very good friends. Our two sons, Eddie and Mike Vigneau, loved helping “Mr. Snyder” get out the P.E. equipment, etc. I was sometimes remorseful for getting my classes out to P.E. a few minutes late over the years! He certainly was a great person, with a wonderful sense of humor, and a really well-organized program with lots of varied
    types of sports involvement for the kids. He used to tell us all about his summer vacations in MI. Dennis will certainly be missed by his fellow teachers over the years, and especially by the many students who benefitted from his expert, help, experience, care and guidance.
    With love and sadness,
    Joan, Spence, Eddie, and Mike Vigneau

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