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LEE JOE SNIDER FAMILY HISTORY
Lee Joe Snider, son of Mike and Veronica Snider, was born on the C.M. Campbell place in Wooten Wells in Robertson County near Bremond on November 26, 1932. Lee was the youngest of eight surviving children and the fifth son.
At the age of four, Lee's mother, Veronica died of pneumonia. Just a few days earlier, she had attended the wedding reception being hosted by close friends of Mike and Veronica.. "At the time, moma was already sick and that particular Saturday morning in Feburary was extremely cold. That might have been what caused her to develop pneumonia" recalled Lee.
Lee enjoyed talking about the early days on the Campbell farm. In particular, some of the practical joking that made the rounds back in those days, " Me and two other boys got talked into going to steal a big watermelon. At first I didn't want to go. We already had watermelons. Then I decided I could bring home a big watermelon and use it for seed. As we got close to the place where the watermelons were supposed to be, we heard shots. Some of the older boys fired their guns in the air but we didn't know it. I hollered to the other boys to run . They're shooting at us! As I ran through the cotton patch, the cotton stalks hit up around my ankles and I thought I was being hit by lead shot!. It was the first time I outran the other boys who were faster than me. We got home faster than a horse and buggy could make it and then we found out it was all a joke!”
In 1939, Mike Snider and his new wife, Martha and son, Lee moved to the Walker farm midway between Bremond and Kosse near Polecat Creek. During this time, Lee attended St. Mary's Catholic School in Bremond and helped his dad operate the farm.
At the age of 18, Lee moved to Houston where he went to work for Hughes Tool Company.
Lee was in Houston when he received his draft notice from "Uncle Sam" in May of 1953. With the Korean War underway, these were hectic times to be drafted into the army but the young farmer from Bremond was up to the challenge. In basic training at Ft. Bliss, Lee recalled having to crawl under barbed wire while live shots were fired over his head and receiving a marksman award on the firing range. “I guess all that practice I got shooting my little 22 at squirrels paid off” he recalled.
After completion of basic training at Fort Bliss, Lee and his outfit flew to New York for transfer to Korea when they got the news... A truce had been signed and the war was over! At this point, Lee was given the opportunity to get out of the army and return to the farm. But Lee was not ready to go back home and volunteered to go to Germany.
For the remainder of his short army career, Lee was stationed in Germany.
“I really enjoyed myself in Germany. One payday, I hired a taxi to take me over to a shop that was filled with fiddles. I tried to deal with the owner but he couldn’t speak any English and I couldn’t speak German. I had some cash on me, but not near enough to buy the fiddle. What I was trying to tell the man was that I could put $60.00 down and come back next payday and pay the rest. The man finally shook his head and gave me the fiddle for the sixty bucks! “ Lee recalled. “I had the fiddle shipped home.”
Lee received his honorable discharge from the army in May of 1955 and returned to his old job at Hughes Tool Company where he worked until 1958.
Lee married Stella Syzdek at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bremond on April 14, 1956. Stella, born on April 21, 1937, was the daughter of Louis and Victoria (Kapchinski) Syzdek of Bremond.
In 1959, Lee became a truck driver, a job he held until he retired in the late 80's.
Like his brother Louis, Lee is musically inclined and is a self-trained "fiddling man." While in the service, Lee played with a band in Germany. Later, Lee played the fiddle in a number of other bands, mostly providing entertainment at Polish weddings.
Lee and Stella have four children:
* Kennith Lee- born in Houston on August 17, 1957
* Ronald Gerald- born in Houston on February 7, 1959
* Larry Wayne - born in Houston on July 10, 1960
* Debrah Ann (Debbie) - born in Houston on October 25, 1961
In 1975, Lee and Stella have moved back to a farm near the place where Lee grew up (midway between Kosse and Bremond). Lee is currently retired, raising a few head of cattle, doing a little gardening, and enjoying the grandkids.
In May of 1995, Lee was diagnosed with cancer. He checked into the hospital at Bryan where he underwent surgery for removal of a malignant brain tumor. "The doctor really surprised me when he sent me home two days after the surgery. I thought he was sending me home to die!” Lee later recalled at the Snider Family Reunion in Bremond.
The following week after the family reunion, Lee checked into the VA Hospital in Temple where he started radiation treatments at nearby Scott and White Hospital returning to his family on the farm on weekends. Over the next several months, I visited Lee on a daily basis and we spent many an hour talking about the old days. This always seemed to get his mind off his situation. He also talked a lot about his family which was very important to him. He was also appreciative that he lived long enough to see his grandchildren and in particular, that little granddaughter had won his heart. On one of my visits, Lee pointed to a card from his granddaughter that said “I love you Bearry much” and had a picture of a little teddy bear. It was signed by Whitney. Lee always talked about visits from family members.
In April of 1996, Lee’s condition deteriorated and he was given last rites. He died a short time later and was buried in the Bremond Catholic cemetery.
Willie (Snider)Storemski Family History
Connie (Snider) Kubiak Family History
William Marion (Bill) Snider Family History
Bruno Snider Family History
Christine (Snider)Knapik Family History
Louis Snider Family History
Lee Snider Family History
Over time, I intend to include family history information for all families that tie back to Tom and Jacob Snider. Bear with me, this will take some time!
For questions or comments, send me an Email
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