Jessie Pennoyer Snyder, a resident of Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vt., and a former longtime resident of Greenwich, Conn., died peacefully on May 1, 2018, after a brief illness. She was 91 years old.
Jessie grew up in Locust Valley, N.Y., the youngest child of Paul G. and Frances T. Pennoyer. Her father was a distinguished New York lawyer and her grandfather a prominent financier.
Jessie attended Greenvale School in Long Island and was a graduate of St. Mary’s in the Mountains, Bethlehem, N.H., now known as White Mountain School. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar in 1947 with a degree in biology. After graduation she worked as a research assistant at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory during the early years of DNA research, and later worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
She married Frank V. Snyder in 1952. They settled in Greenwich, Conn., where they lived for 53 years in a Colonial-era farmhouse that they lovingly restored. Jessie volunteered for many years at Round Hill Community Church (later First Church of Round Hill), Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich Hospital, and the Wake Robin Residents’ Association, as well as other nonprofit organizations. Over the years, Jessie donated many pints of blood to the American Red Cross. She was an accomplished amateur photographer, and she loved dancing.
Jessie was a tireless supporter of Frank in all his endeavors, sailing with him on many oceans, culminating with a trip across the Pacific over nine months in 1991. They were also avid skiers and were one of the founding families of Stratton Mountain Ski Area.
She walked every afternoon, which she called the best part of her day. She started to use a walker a few years ago, and she wore out its bearings – twice. “Count your blessings and keep moving,” she often said. Even as her life became more limited, she recently wrote, “I feel humble and thankful, and have often thought that I want my life to be a prayer of thanksgiving.”
Jessie is survived by her brother, Robert M. Pennoyer of New York City; by four children, Dr. Michael S. Snyder of Greenwich, Conn., Jonathan V. Snyder of Tisbury, Mass., Jane A. Snyder of Asheville, N.C., and Suzanne S. Johnson of Shelburne, Vt.; and by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband.
A memorial service will be held on June 9 at 11 a.m. at the Charlotte Congregational Church, 403 Church Hill Road, Charlotte, Vt. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wake Robin Residents’ Assistance Fund, 200 Wake Robin Drive, Shelburne, VT 05482 or the Charlotte Congregational Church, 403 Church Hill Road, Charlotte, VT 05445.