Winslow Snyders Store Closes
A Winslow town fixture, Marvin Snyder, closes the family store after 88 years.
Except for college (accounting degree from Indiana University) followed by an Army stint that landed him on Normandy’s beaches a week after the initial invasion, Marvin Snyder has spent his life in this town of 881.
He came home from World War II to help run Snyder’s, a department store his parents, Joe and Bess, began in 1916.
After running Snyder’s, the department store his parents began in 1916 in Winslow, Ind., for most of his life, Marvin Snyder retired recently after celebrating his 83rd birthday. Snyder greets newcomers from across the room as he catches up with longtime friends Christine and Lendon Toms at his retirement party during his last week of work.
After the fire, Snyder kept his business open to fill special orders and run the service department, which repaired any appliance purchased during the store’s long history. With plenty of empty space to fill, Snyder tries to sell a family member’s used refrigerator and air conditioner to customer Rodney Dixon.
After a fire destroyed a block of buildings in downtown Winslow, Snyder lost not only his business but also his home of 67 years. Several days after the fire, Snyder tries to salvage a blanket among the rubble of what was once the living room of his second-floor apartment.
At 83 years old, Marvin Snyder finally closes the doors to Snyder’s department store. Family friend Sonja Eskind wishes him luck as begins his retirement with a trip to Washington, D.C., for the dedication of the World War II Memorial.
Recently, the 83-year-old Snyder, a bachelor with lively blue eyes, a humble demeanor and a penchant for golf, closed his store for the final time.
Snyder said the fire actually delayed his retirement plans, because he had a deal to sell the business and it fell through as a result of the blaze. “It’s difficult,” he admitted. “I wish I had somebody here to carry on, at least the appliance services … but it doesn’t do any good to dwell on things I can’t do anything about.”