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Rev. Dr. Henry "Hank" E. Snedeker
August 15, 1943 ~ October 1, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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The Reverend Doctor Henry (“Hank”) Ellis Snedeker, born in 1943, grew up in St. Georges, Delaware and passed away peacefully on October 1, 2023, in Oak Park, IL.
Hank attended Gunning Bedford Jr. Sr. High School in Delaware City, Delaware and graduated in 1961. He was a 1965 graduate of the University of Delaware, having earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Hank was then called to ministry and attended Princeton Theological Seminary and received his Master of Divinity in 1968. Several years later, Hank graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1987, having earned his Doctor of Ministry.
Hank was an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA)and served faithfully for 43 years as a pastor in churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida and in Presbyteries in Ohio and Michigan. Hank retired from ministry in 2008.
For much of his life, Hank approached the world with a sense of curiosity. He loved being near any body of water, especially the tidal pools of the East Coast. As he walked, he would offer up the scientific names of each creature and plant he saw. Growing up on a farm, his horses, dogs, and cats held special places in his heart. He loved classical music and books and would share his observations in ancient languages. People called him a jokester although his family’s responses to his jokes were often eyerolls.
His commitment to the importance of social justice led him to participate in developing low-cost housing, creating relationships with immigrants, and addressing food insecurity. When he was asked for what he wanted to be remembered, he quoted Saint Francis saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.”
Hank was a proud father of three daughters and is survived by two of them, Deanne Snedeker Medina (and her husband Oscar Medina) of Oak Park, IL, and Rebecca Snedeker-Meier of Chicago, IL. Hank had two granddaughters, Mila and Ellis, and one grandson, Alejandro. He is also survived by other beloved family members, Deborah Paton, Susan Meier, and Roberta Deakyne. The oldest of six, Hank also leaves three brothers, George, Joseph, and Jan, and two sisters, Dee and Eleanor, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Hank was preceded in death by his oldest daughter, the Rev. Amy J. Snedeker, and his parents, Henry and Vera Snedeker.
A memorial celebration of Hank’s life will be held on a future date. If you would like to honor Hank’s memory, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Special Olympics Illinois, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Animal Care League of Oak Park.