Walter “George” Snider


Walter “George” Snider


George Snider
George Snider

Our beloved George passed away Sunday, February 15th, at Riverstone Hospice Cottage with his daughter by his side. He was surrounded with family and friends in the week prior to his passing. He went to be with our Lord peacefully while listening to beautiful harp music.

He was born to Ira Ward Snider and Alta “Marie” Hathaway Snider on June 29th, 1920, in Buchanan, MI. He was the oldest of five boys. Marie traveled to Buchanan, MI to have her baby but returned back to the family ranch on Rosebud Creek just outside Colstrip, MT as soon as George could travel.

George was raised on the ranch with his four younger brothers. He was always a hard worker even in his youth. His father taught him to drive at 7 years old (because he was tall for his age) and he became the family chauffeur since his father preferred horses. He attended McKay Country School located 1 mile up the road for 1st – 8th grades and Rosebud High School in Forsyth, MT for 9th – 10th grades. The family moved to Buchanan, MI and George graduated from high school there in 1938. After high school, George took a tool and die apprenticeship at Clark Equipment where he worked until 1941. He then worked in the tool room for Bendix until 1944. George was drafted into the Army in 1944. He was put to work as a civilian for Firestone since he was such a talented tool and die maker. After the war, he went back to the ranch on Rosebud Creek for a short time and then moved back to Elkhart, IN where he held several positions in the tool and die industry. While in Elkhart, he met his best friend and the love of his life, Pauline Adams. They married June 27th, 1954, in Syracuse, Indiana.

In November 1959, George and Pauline, along with George’s son from a previous marriage, Jimmy Arthur, moved back to Montana to pursue George’s dream of owning a ranch. In the spring of 1960 they purchased their ranch in the Bull Mountains north of Billings. George and Pauline had two children. Their first child, John David, was born in 1961 but passed away several months later from SIDs. In 1963, their second child, Janet Ellen, was born. While still running cattle and raising wheat on the ranch, George decided to become a teacher and challenged the required college classes to receive his teaching certificate. He went to work teaching Machining and Mechanical Drawing part time at Huntley Project High School in 1967. In 1979, he purchased a wheat farm outside Judith Gap, MT while still running the Bull Mountain Ranch and teaching part time. George retired from teaching in 1982 and continued on the ranch until 2007 when he moved in to Billings.

George was intelligent, had a great sense of humor, loved to visit, and was a true believer in friendship. His passions were ranching, caring for his cattle, machining, and reading. He was also a devoted husband and father. George was happiest and most at peace on his beloved Bull Mountain Ranch.

A special thank you to the entire staff at Sweetwater Retirement Community, who lovingly cared for George the last seven years of his life. Also a special thank you to Dr. Michael Hagan, the nurses and staff at St. Vincent Hospital, and Riverstone Hospice for the outstanding care they provided George and the understanding and support they provided the family.

George is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Janet (George) Harper of Billings, MT; daughter-in-law Dianne Snider of Bonners Ferry, ID; grandchildren, Tanner (Anne) Harper of Billings, MT, Whitney Harper of Eugene, OR, and Jonathan Snider of Bonners Ferry, ID; brothers Jim Snider of Colstrip, MT and Harold Snider of Niles, MI; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Pauline, brothers Donald and Robert Snider, sons Robert, John David and James Arthur Snider, and granddaughter Amy Snider.

We love you George. We will miss your wonderful stories (Ambros and the dynamite), your sparkling eyes, and warm hands more than words can possibly express. You will live forever in our hearts and minds. We will join you soon. Rest well now and sleep in Jesus.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, February 27th, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, located at 1001 Alderson Ave, Billings, MT. A reception will follow at Sweetwater Retirement Community, 3140 Sweet Water Dr, Billings, MT. Interment will be Saturday, February 28th, at 1:30 p.m. at Lee Cemetery on Rosebud Creek. Refreshments will be served at the Jim Snider Ranch following the graveside service. Memorials may be sent to Riverstone Health Hospice, 123 S. 27th, Billings, MT 59101.

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  1. To the family of George Snider~~George was my shop teacher between the years of 1972-1976. George taught me a lot about machining and mechanics. He helped me over haul the engine in my 67 Dodge Monaco car. In 1976 our FFA mechanics team enjoyed a very successful year because of his knowledge and perfectionism. George wouldn’t even let high school students do less than perfect work. I will always remember George and can’t help but think that he had a big influence on my life and my success as a farmer.

    My condolences to George’s family. He was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful man!
    Sincerely Greg Lackman

  2. Uncle George was always happy & alive. Sparkling eyes!!! He loved Aunt Pauline so much! I always loved the times I was able to be around him. Uncle George you will be missed so much! Love, Carla Adams

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