Wednesday, May 14, 2014

RIP Harry Sneider

from Harry's wife:

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers! It is with much sadness that I must tell you about the recent passing of Harry Sneider surrounded by all his family. Words cannot describe our loss. He was always God-fearing, positive, caring, selfless, a motivator and an inspiration. He touched the lives of many people in a very positive way, an amazing man admired and loved by many around the world. So thankful for the 45 plus years we've had together, the decades we worked side by side in the fitness field, and the last six months almost 24/7 during his health challenges. He packed a lot into 73 years including coach and trainer of Olympic champions and trainer and 35 year friend of world chess champion Bobby Fischer, recently completing a manuscript to be published. He was a world champion powerlifter, bench pressing 451 lbs at age 61. But even more he was a champion person! So thankful he will live on in our children and grandchildren. He fought the fight, kept the faith, and there is a crown laid up for him. I look forward to seeing him again and spending eternity with him!

I have the address for cards if you are interested.  Contact me privately.



Connie Schmidt said...

As a personal trainer myself, I am sorry to see this posting. I got to meet Harry and his wife one time, at a FOT many years ago. Both of them are class acts by any standard.

450 lb bench press at the age of 61! Impressive by any standards and for any age. Rest in peace Harry.

NO2HWA said...

Connie: Harry was certainly a class act. He never played the politics game with the various nut jobs that controlled Pasadena. He treated everyone fairly and equally. He has a tremendous reputation in the Pasadena area. His entire family does!

Byker Bob said...

Sometimes first impressions don't tell the entire tale. I'd gone home for the month of August between my freshman and sophomore years at AC. Fact is, I had probably spent more time in the weight room than I ever did studying for my classes, and we'd had a solid group of regulars there, all of us being pretty fast friends.

During my first visit to the weight room following vacation, there was this stocky blond haired guy who walked with a limp, not yet even a member of "the club", but giving out a bunch of unsolicited advice. At the time, I immediately added him to my list of people whom I did not want to get to know. Who needed yet another quasi-minister around, since there were already an abundance of those in the student body, making people's lives miserable?

The point is, Harry soon earned my respect through his knowledge, his personality, and the fact that he had an innate understanding of the art of being a friend. About two months into my sophomore year, I considered him to be my coach or trainer, one of several notable ones over the course of my life. Whether or not he knew who would be life long-athletes, and who would eventually give it up and get out of shape, I have no idea.

R.I.P., Harry. You excelled in your field!


old EXPCG hag said...

Well this sounds like one good ending to a former WWCOG member. It sounds like he connected the physical with the spiritual, unlike most. I never new of this man, but I'm glad I have now.

I don't know if he was still part of one of the COG's. I bet if he was not though, all the splinter's would be condemning him to the "lake of fire" for not being >ONE OF THEM<.

Assistant Deacon said...

Gotta love the link to the Journal article, where it quotes Harry's exchange with Rod Meredith while Harry was living in Minneapolis, and Rod said they needed him at AC because "he needed help with some of the 'skinny guys' who were AC students and new graduates and said he wanted them to be able to 'look more powerful when they're preaching.'"

Haha, that was sooooo Rod. But it got Harry to Pasadena, so it all turned out well. What a riot.

Head Usher said...

If there's one word that would describe Harry Sneider, it would certainly be "class act" (two words!). Harry was a guy who managed to live in an aura of wellbeing. If you could put that in a bottle, you'd make a fortune.

I remember during my Imperial days going over to run at the AC Track and seeing Harry training with Dwight on the pole vault. I knew his kids better than I knew him or his wife, but we were in the same Imperial AM congregation for a few years, and him just being around made you feel like you did know him.

I had no idea his health was failing, but he's one of those guys who you know took full advantage of his time here. If everyone could have a life so well lived as I am sure his was, this world would be a much more amazing one.

Byker Bob said...

Yes, A.D., that Journal article was interesting. I wonder if Harry actually succeeded in bringing Rod's version of respectability to the weight room, where skinny ministerial candidates became transformed into Charles Atlas types during their senior years. All the while my friends and I worked out there, we were considered to be the big bad boys (as one student body officer called us), rebel outlaws whose gods were thought to be our own bodies.

The "real" athletes during those years were considered to be the basketball players. Yet, we never saw them in the weight training room unless they peeked in after they finished playing hand ball. The only faculty member who ever worked out with us was oddly enough Dr. Stig Erlander. Not a single one of us weight room junkies from 1966-68 ever got ordained. Not that it bothered us, but we were sometimes the brunt of jokes. Some idiot faculty members even suggested that we needed to study opera or ballet to round us out so that we would be cultured enough to be sent into the field.

My hat is off to Harry if, after I left, he managed to turn all of those stereotypes and preconceptions around to the point where just maybe people began to regard their bodies as temples. When you are in shape, there is no doubt that you are healthier, your attitude is better, and you have a natural outlet for elliminating stress. There is a higher level of functionality.

The people in WCG just weren't "ready". Imagine what their level of sheer horror might have been over people studying martial arts, or learning how to exercise their Second Amendment rights! Imagine if Rod were visiting Texas in 1967, and had run into a young church member who had won marksmanship contests!


Glenn said...

Harry was a wonderful person, and one of the most positive and encouraging people I have ever met. He helped me get into really good shape my junior year. I also enjoyed having a beer and talking football with him from time to time.

Glenn Parker