Nancy Snyder

Born on Apr 27, 1938
Departed on Jan 31, 2024

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Nancy Ing Peterson Snyder, 85, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa passed away peacefully on January 31, 2024, surrounded by her loving family.  A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories: 4200 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The burial will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.  A visitation luncheon will follow. 

Nancy was born on April 27, 1938, to Olaf and Ingeborg (Dahl) Peterson. She was a loving big sister to Rodger Peterson as they grew up in Minneapolis near Minnehaha Creek. She graduated from Washburn High School in 1956 and earned her BA degree in elementary education from Coe College in 1959. 

While at Coe she was a member of the TriDelta sorority, for which she later served as an alumni advisor and hosted rush parties at her home. She passed the TriDelta legacy on to both of her daughters, Julie and Amy, as well as to her granddaughter, Kelsey. Consistent with her playful spirit, she also belonged to a Secret Society of Witches at Coe (the pretend kind of witches that did good deeds for people).  

Following a marriage proposal serenade from a young soldier-turned-lawyer beneath her apartment window, Nancy married the love of her life, James (Jim) Snyder on December 30th, 1960. Rumor has it that, upon seeing his bride on their wedding day, Jim asked Nancy, “Is that a new dress?” Having gotten off to an interesting start, Jim and Nancy were devoted to each other for 62 years. She helped him establish a successful law practice at Simmons Perrine, and they built a wonderful family and life together. They were parted only by Jim’s death in 2022. 

Nancy enjoyed teaching elementary school until choosing to dedicate herself to her family and volunteering. She was active in the Junior League of Cedar Rapids and volunteered at Grant Wood Elementary School. Most of all, she was deeply devoted to her three children, of whom she was immensely proud: Peter Snyder, MD, a physician-scientist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine; Julie Lake, a teacher in Urbandale; and Amy Scott, a lawyer in McKinney, Texas. 

Nancy filled every room with light, life, and laughter. She was the gracious host of countless parties at her home; she was the “cool mom” that her kids’ friends wanted to visit; she was the thoughtful neighbor who always checked in. She seemed to know people wherever she went, and she never met a stranger – so trips to Lowe’s could take hours when she ran into an old friend or made a new friend of the salesperson. At the family cabin in Troy Mills, she was voted Queen of the Boat Parade by her river neighbors. 

Nancy was full of surprises. Few would suspect that it was Nancy, and not her husband, who taught their son Pete his DIY handyman skills. Indeed, it was not uncommon for the kids to come home from school to find their mother knee-deep in a massive home improvement project surrounded by power tools. It was also Nancy who let daughters Julie and Amy to play hooky from school to bake Norwegian Christmas cookies like Rosettes and Krumkakers. She was always doing fun things with her grandchildren, and there are now about two decades’ worth of her grandkids’ craft projects that will have to be cleaned out of her garage.

The truth is, Nancy would have done anything for her children and grandchildren. Well, almost anything: when her children and grandchildren asked why she and Jim never took them snow skiing, she replied simply, “We’re beach people.”

She loved to celebrate and taught her children and grandchildren to find joy in life’s special moments. Every season meant a house full of loved ones and loads of whimsical holiday decorations – Halloween was her favorite, when she would reprise her Witch role from college. She genuinely regarded every gift given to her, however big or small, as the most precious she had ever received. Just months ago, on her 85th birthday, she smiled as she sat at the head of her dining table, surrounded by family and friends, while wearing a tiara and sash.

Nancy is survived by her son, Dr. Peter Snyder (Christina Bohannan) of Iowa City, IA; daughter, Julie Lake (Kevin Lemon) of Urbandale, IA; and daughter, Amy Scott (Dave) of McKinney, TX. She was “Nannie” to nine grandchildren: Nicholas Staub (Allison) of Minneapolis, MN; Kelsey Staub of Seattle, WA; Michael Staub (Davia Kellen) of Kennewick, WA; Eli, Ethan, and Ean Scott of McKinney, TX; Brie Lemon of Des Moines, IA; Travis Lemon (Jessica) of Clive, IA; and Mira Bohannan Kumar of Iowa City, IA. She is also survived by her brother Rodger Peterson (Su); and many nieces and nephews, whom she cherished throughout her life. She was preceded in death by her parents and beloved husband, Jim.

Memorial Donations, in Memory of Nancy Snyder, may be directed to Oldorf Hospice House (