Eugene "Gene" Edward Snyder
1928 - 2017
Eugene “Gene” Edward Snyder, passed away on Friday, May 26, 2017. He was a great man who lived life to its fullest. Often, he commented on how fortunate he was to have such a full and rewarding life.
Gene was born May 29, 1928 in Gary Indiana and attended college at UCSB and USC, fulfilling dreams to play basketball and obtain a quality education. Playing basketball for UCSB was exciting and established relationships with players and coaches that would last a lifetime.
If you grew up in Santa Barbara you may have crossed paths with Gene since he developed many friends through his coaching and teaching career. You may also have been fortunate to be a player for Gene, who was known for his talent and fairness with players. Gene was inducted into both the SB and Court of Champions Hall of Fame.
Fellow school administrators also enjoyed camaraderie to develop educational environments that were disciplined, fun, and full of spirit. His first teaching job began in Paso Robles, followed by Santa Barbara High, La Colina Junior High, and a return to SB High where he would remain for 16 years as the Co-Principal.
There were other jobs that included driving a school bus and he sold orchids too! In his early days, he enjoyed making wine from grapes he grew on family land in Ojai… He was very talented with building his whirly birds and other “crafty-wood working” items you may have hanging in your house or yard!
Staying true to patriotism and love for his country, he served in the Navy for 2 years.
Gene met and married Carlene Mae Alexander in Nov 1952…Their son, Robert followed 2 years later and 2 years later, Michael Eugene was born….They began life together in various communities, including Summerland, finally settling in Santa Barbara for the past 55 years.
He and Carlene began a love affair with Motor-homing through the Caravaneers/ Elks where his love of friends, activity and travel were combined for several adventures, including Alaska, New Orleans, and other beautiful American cities.
His commitment to sports and academics was routed in his passion for teamwork, fairness, and discipline; certainly qualities that exemplified a great man who truly loved his family and friends.
If you encountered Gene on the streets, schools, Sansum, Cottage Hospital, or even the grocery store, you were likely going to be questioned about what high school you attended. It probably was followed by a conversation about coaching and what a great school SBHS truly was! Once a Don, always a Don!
Gene was survived by his dear wife, Carlene who passed in 2014 and his son, Robert who passed in February of this year.
He loved the Trojans and USC and his undying support for their sports…He was a true fan and attended many football games!
We wish to thank the team at Sr. Planning Services for their amazing work and Dr. Gupta, Dr. Bernstein, and Sansum for their excellent care…FIGHT ON!!!!!!!
A celebration of Gene’s life will be on August 27, 2017 from 12:00-4:00 at the Carriage Museum….we welcome his friends to join us for lunch and an open comments….