Antoinette W. Snyder, 87 years young and active; beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, died peacefully at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Feb. 6, 2021, after losing her battle with COVID-19.
She was born in Dunkirk, N.Y., July 22, 1933; one of seven children of the late Joseph and Josephine Pietro. Antoinette worked all of her life, starting at age 12 picking berries on local farms. She graduated from Dunkirk Senior High School, was employed at Cease’s Commissary, and married her sweetheart Andy Snyder on January 2, 1952. Antoinette (Net) and Andy opened “Andy’s Carryout,” a food takeout service in Fredonia. She also worked many years performing various duties at her family’s business, the Vineyard Motel and Restaurant. Always energetic, she enjoyed challenging herself and strived for self-improvement, taking different classes, even earning her NYS real estate license in her seventies.
Antoinette’s family was the most important thing in her life, and she was constantly involved in helping in whatever way she could to enrich the lives of those close to her. Her great grandson Oliver was very special to her and visits with him brought her joy. She loved to gather with family at picnics, for coffee, spur-of the-moment road trips, and impromptu meals at restaurants. Her favorite Mother’s Day meal was homemade spaghetti and meatballs. She loved an exciting football game, Super Bowl, and snacks. Like many others, Covid precautions significantly impacted her vital freedom and ability to gather with those she loved.
Antoinette had quite the spirit of adventure and she lived to drive … in all types of weather; especially in snow storms when most people would want to stay home. She loved walking outside enjoying the wind, weather, and nature. She took pleasure in picking berries and burdock (“gardunas”) to make delicacies to share with others. Her favorite place was parking on the Dunkirk pier with her cup of Dunkin’ Doughnuts coffee.
Our mother’s amazing energy and love was not limited to her family. Her entire life reflected her strong Catholic faith and dedication to the Blessed Mother. She was a life-long member of Holy Trinity Church. She was generous with which God had blessed her, and often performed little spontaneous acts of kindness.
Antoinette often befriended and advocated for those who were mistreated, alone, or considered “social misfits”. She had been a past volunteer for the Abuse Hotline and CASA; drove elderly friends to Buffalo doctor appointments; and assisted others with housekeeping, errands, grocery shopping, paying bills, or just “making sure they were alright”. All of these things were done without expecting anything in return; putting the needs of others before her own.
There was much love, laughter, and lively conversation. She will be deeply missed by her daughters Cathy Snyder and Andrea Snyder; sister Joanne (Terry) Niebel; brothers James (Barb) Pietro and Louis (Angela) Pietro; grandson Marc Snyder; great grandson Oliver; nieces Stacy Weber, Lesley Niebel, Toni Marie (Tom) Sawyer, Lisa (Joe) Jasinski, Dianna (Jamie) Hubbard, Laurie Pietro; nephews Justin (Erin) Niebel, Matt Pietro, Joseph (Mel) Pietro, Aaron (Heather) Pietro, Joshua Pietro; cousin Mary Beth Helfeldt, other nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
Those joyfully welcoming her into heaven will be her husband Andy Snyder; daughter Becky Snyder; parents Joe and Josephine Pietro; sisters Rose Pietro and Barb Riolo; brother Tony Pietro; niece Lu Ann Pietro; and great nephew Jacob Jasinski.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private family funeral mass will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Church, Dunkirk, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Antoinette’s charities: “Upon This Rock,” a Catholic initiative in Buffalo to support ministry and mission programs in WNY; and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Funeral arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.