Betty  Snyder

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Betty Gene Sanders Snyder began life on Oct. 21, 1930 and lived fiercely until Dec. 13, 2018. She was always proud to be born to her parents, Mary Eugenia Stradley Sanders (Miss Gene) and William Carlton Sanders. She married Milton P. Snyder on Dec. 29, 1958, and their seven-year courtship was sealed into partnership for life, just shy of 60 years.
Her service is Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Milledgeville. Friends are invited to wear color in joyful celebration of Betty's life. Guests are invited immediately following the service to a reception and showing of her artwork at the John Marlor Arts Center. This special showing will be open to the public until Tuesday, Jan. 8.
To become an artist, historian, administrator, writer, teacher, coach, and speaker, Betty Snyder was a student of life. She was a voracious advocate of preserving history - both of architecture and people's legacies. Her palette was her community, where she envisioned and brought the arts to life and life to the arts. She wanted to give everyone, who had the inclination, the opportunity to experience art. Her life of service was emblazoned with her servant heart - and fueled by her fiery spirit and sharp wit. Her keen eye, a giving soul, and intuition moved mountains.
Betty was born in Swainsboro, then lived between North Carolina and Georgia until taking up roots in Milledgeville for 51 years. She graduated from Mars Hill College where she met Milton. After graduating from Tift College, her career path led her to teach in Millen, then back to North Carolina where she served as an art therapist in children's hospitals.
Betty and Milton built a life in Butner, N.C., before moving to Milledgeville in 1966 for Milton's position as chaplain and later chief chaplain at Central State Hospital. Betty became engaged as a volunteer and tirelessly supported the patients and work of CSH. As a full-time mom of two and professional community volunteer, she chose to go Georgia College - now having an art degree to complement her life-long body of work. Also, she and artists Dorrie Neligan, Beegee Baugh, Jane Headley Payne founded the Paint Pot, an art studio teaching children and adults.
Betty is the mother Genie Snyder Chamberlin (Pete Chamberlin) and Preston Snyder (Cindi Fetch); and is the grandmother of their children, Olive Grace (2 years) and William Preston (4 months.) She also is survived by her brother, Col. William Carlton Sanders, II, (Celetta), and many cousins, nieces, nephews and offspring. She is the granddaughter of the late Grace Lindsay Stradley and Thomas Stradley of Decatur and Mary Tallulah and William Obadiah Sanders, of Swainsboro. Discovering and writing history is one of her driving forces.
To say that Betty was active in her community is an understatement. A dynamic member of multiple arts organizations, serving as president and statewide chairs of many. She and Milton were involved in their faith and First Baptist Churches in both Butner, N.C., and Milledgeville, serving as Sunday School teachers, lay leaders, historians, and countless committee/project chairs for more than 60 years.
Betty was awarded Georgia Governor's Awards in both the Arts and the Humanities. She was honored by Georgia College with multiple alumni and service awards. She served as president of the Georgia Association of Community Arts Agencies and engaged with Georgia Council for the Arts. She volunteered with gusto for Habitat for Humanity, City of Milledgeville and multiple volunteer organizations, especially those supporting the arts, women, children, historic preservation and American Indians. She also was awarded and completed a Kellogg Fellowship in art.
Though her volunteerism remained strong throughout her life, her professional focus was forever changed when she took on building the project that became Allied Arts for Milledgeville and Baldwin County. Betty served as the visionary executive director for 18 years and helped inspire thousands to pursue knowledge of the arts, appreciate the arts, and in some cases be exposed to visual and performance arts for the first time. She was a firepower in the restoration of the John Marlor House and Allen's Market, both that house Allied Arts events today. Her town and gown roots run deep, so building relationships with Georgia College and local schools allowed a reciprocity of teaching and learning that remains strong today. Allied Arts continues to change the landscape of arts education in Milledgeville and throughout the state.
Following a short "retirement," she dove back into another vision for the Georgia Old Capitol Museum, spotlighting the immense history of Milledgeville, not only as capital of Georgia, but as a pivotal place historically. She worked with the museum from its conception in the early 1990s and served as the first executive director. She was also one of the founders, key historians, researchers and content writers. She wrote historical copy in longhand (with Milton as typist) and curated, designed and painted a great deal of the inaugural exhibits. A reverence for the past and a thirst for improving the present inspired her. Her vision for the future continues.
Please no flowers, but in lieu, memorial contributions may be made to Allied Arts, Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat for Humanity or Mary Eugenia Stradley Sanders Scholarship - GCSU Foundation.
Details at www.mooresfuneral.com.
Moores Funeral Home & Crematory has charge of arrangements.
Published on January 3, 2019
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