Ron Snyder '65
Original Interview by Kyle Novak '04
Over time, Damien has developed many fine young men who are both academically and
socially prepared to make their impact on the shaping world. Maybe the success of Damien's
students can be explained by the Damien community as a family or the foundation of respect
between students and faculty. Whatever it is, Damien has managed well, and Mr. Ron Snyder is proof of that. The Damien community gathers every year to acknowledge a few Spartans and induct their names into the Hall of Fame.
Even though Ron Snyder took the road less traveled sometimes, he became very successful and that's because of his hard work and dedication. He did not always have a lot of time on his hands because he was so busy, but he still managed to live a complete life and become a remarkable individual. His unique personality brightened the room during the interview as good conversation was carried along.
Ron Snyder grew up in a large family headed by his father, Ted and his mother, Norma. "I owe my parents a lot. They taught me about morals and showed me a work ethic which helped me in life," said Ron. Mr. Snyder has four brothers, Gary, 57, Greg, 53, Jeff, 51, and Ted, 45, and one sister, Monica, who is 47. "My family always stayed close to one another due to the good upbringing our parents gave us," added Snyder.
Mr. Snyder only attended Damien for two years and graduated in 1965. He missed the freshman and sophomore years because he was in the seminary. "The seminary was a good experience and taught me a lot about myself, one thing being that it's not for me," he said. Since he only spent two years at Damien, Ron Snyder missed out on athletics but still flourished academically. His favorite teachers were Father Peter Dennis and Father Pat Travers. "Father Travers is the closest thing to a saint that I have ever seen. He is a great man and I enjoy working for him. He is a great principal and works for the good of people. I admire him. He helped Damien provide me with the essential educational background and moral training," commented Mr. Snyder.
After graduation in 1965, Ron attended Cal Poly Pomona. He began college but soon left to join the Marine Corps Reserves as the Vietnam War was occurring. During his 6-month stay in the Marine Corps, he man¬aged to graduate #1 in the boot camp academy.
When he returned home he received his AA from Chaffey College as a business major. After college Ron joined the LAPD and graduated #1 out of the entire academy. He stayed in the LAPD for two year's, but then took over a business, the now-famous "Suzann's Flowers," and (berated it for over 26 years. Suzann's Flowers was not a successful business when Ron took over, but by hard work and extreme dedication he made it into one of the top forty shops in the United States. "I loved being in control and controlling my own destiny. It was a thrill entering the business," said Mr. Snyder. "The only bad thing was that holidays were the busiest time of the year so I did not get much time to celebrate," added Snyder. Ron Snyder sold his gold mine busi¬ness in 1999 and retired temporarily, playing a lot of golf. He later went to work for a friend in the telecommunications business, and is now the West Coast manager for Conley Equipment Company.
During his stay at Damien, Ron Snyder met his "wife to be," Debi, who was a cheerleader at Pomona Catholic. They got married in 1968 and are still together today. Debi is a stay-at-home mom and is also very active in the Damien community. Both Ron and Debi work tremendously hard to preserve the Damien programs that give men incredible opportunities. Ron and Debi have two kids: Tim, who graduated from Damien in 1990, attended UC Davis and currently serves with the California Highway Patrol; and Christie, who is a married mother of three and a teacher at Pepper Tree Elementary School in Upland. Ron expressed how excited he is that when June comes he would be a grandfather to five great kids. Ron is extremely busy throughout the community. He served twenty years on the Leroy Boys Home board, five years on the Boy Scouts board, was recently elected to the Red Hill Country Club board, and in one way or another has been involved with Damien since 1973 and helps to run the annual Damien golf tournament. In Ron's spare time, he enjoys playing golf, traveling to Denver and Acapulco, attending Damien activities, especially football games, and remodeling his new home in Upland.
Ron Snyder is a tremendous individual and well deserving of the induction into the Damien Hall of Fame. He is a role model to every person in the way that he works hard, exhibits great dedication, and is a great husband and father. "I plan to keep working. I enjoy ray new career. It's a learning process but I'm having fun," exclaimed Mr. Snyder. Those words do not only reflect his new job but how life is in general: an enjoyable learning process. Congratulations, Mr. Ron Snyder on your induction into the Hall of Fame; you are truly deserving of the recognition.