Cover photo for James Edward Snyder's Obituary
James Edward Snyder Profile Photo
1948 James 2023

James Edward Snyder

August 3, 1948 — January 28, 2023


James Edward Snyder passed peacefully away with his family at his side on January 28, 2023.

He was born August 3,1948 to Rufus Adam Snyder and Jean (Beall) Snyder in Decatur, IL.

He graduated from the University of Illinois School of Architecture in Champaign, IL in 1971.

After graduation he worked in Illinois, Colorado, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Pakistan, England, Wyoming, and Montana.  Highlights of his career included working on the King Saud University in Riyad, Saudi Arabia which was the largest lump-sum project in the world at that time, and on the Canary Wharf portion of the Docklands redevelopment project in London, England with buildings designed by a collection of the world’s most renowned Architects of the day. He moved to Montana in 1992 working with Jonathan Foote, transitioning from high rise buildings and large commercial projects to luxury homes. He hung his own shingle in 1995 and worked on commercial and residential projects until his retirement in 2009.

Jim’s passion for leather work and Native American culture began when he was a Boy Scout.  His Scouting days continued to Eagle. As an adult he created a collection of museum quality Plains Indian-style beaded items, costume pieces, and a historically accurate fully furnished tipi.  While camping at Crow Fair in the 1990s he was delighted when Crow Elders sought out his tipi and marveled at his attention to historical detail. While in Wyoming he worked on the North American Indian Heritage Center on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation. This full immersion into Indian culture was a culmination of this interest.

His fine tailored suits and love of adventure swept Jon Ellen Snyder off her feet, and they married in 1986. Their first few months of marriage were spent touring the country in Jim’s lifted CJ-5 with Bambi Air Stream in tow complete with his custom tipi pole holders on the top, tipi camping at numerous National Muzzle Loaders Association Mountain Man Rendezvous’ including on the Story Ranch in Paradise Valley, as well as visiting Indian Reservations, and museums.  While in London, he bought his first Morgan sports car.  He and Jon Ellen enjoyed touring the English countryside in full vintage touring regalia. He loved Morgans so much that he owned two more while in Livingston. During that period you could always find him in the garage rebuilding, maintaining, or refining his cars often with the Rolling Stones at full blast.

The thing he loved most was having his wife at his side. His quick and sardonic wit will always be remembered by those who loved him most.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Johnny.  He is survived by his wife, Jon Ellen, brother Jerry Snyder (Susie) of Gardiner, MT, sister Mary (Jim) Forbes of Bloomington, IL, numerous nieces and nephews, and his beloved cousin Sister Mary Ann Snyder of Rochester, MN.

A public vigil will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Thursday, February 2nd at 5:30 pm. Public visitation will be at St Mary’s Friday, February 3rd at 10:00 am.  A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 am following Friday’s visitation with graveside services immediately thereafter.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sisters of St Francis (Donate | Sisters of St. Francis (, or the Livingston Healthcare Foundation.

To order memorial trees in memory of James Edward Snyder, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Vigil Service

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Starts at 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, February 3, 2023

10:00am - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, February 3, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, February 3, 2023

Starts at 12:15 pm (Eastern time)

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