PLANT CITY As a Boy Scout leader, Dean Snyder helped guide 27 boys to the organization’s highest honor — Eagle Scout.
Snyder’s involvement in Scouting and other charitable, often youth-oriented organizations, frequently were mentioned by friends and family members who spoke about him this week. Snyder, 58, died Tuesday at his Plant City home.
He had battled esophageal cancer for the past year.
“Dean was a very well liked and very generous person,” next-door neighbor George Banning said. His wife of 37 years, Ceresa Michele “Mikie” Snyder, said her husband grew up in a family with 10 children. That probably set him on a course for helping others, she said.
The Snyders met 40 years ago at the Brandon Kmart and lived in Mobile, Ala., for 10 years before moving to Plant City in 1986. Among the charities he supported was the American Cancer Society, because he lost his father and stepbrother to the disease, she said.
Snyder, who owned an investment company, helped raise thousands of dollars for the Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts, Plant City Family YMCA and for a new emergency room at South Florida Baptist Hospital.
Banning said he and Snyder developed a close friendship and designed their backyards so they could hold fund-raisers there. “He had his favorite charities and I had mine and we would support each other,” Banning said.
Retired car dealer B.M. “Mac” Smith Jr. said he became friends when Snyder, a car buff, when Snyder would look at vehicles on Smith’s car lot. Later they volunteered together for 20 years with the Boy Scouts.
Snyder lived up to the scouting ideals of honesty and integrity, Smith said
Unlike many scoutmasters who drop out when their sons get too old for the organization, Snyder remained a Scout leader long after his sons Adam, now 33, and Brandon, 30, left scouting, Smith said. He was scoutmaster of Troop 733 for about seven years.
Besides Snyder’s wife and sons, survivors include his grandchildren, Brock Joseph Snyder and Gunner Gabriel Snyder; and siblings, Mark, Bruce, Keith, Bonnie, Kent, Eric, Todd, Beth and Brett.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Hopewell Funeral Home, 6005 County Road 39 S., Plant City; and a memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Plant City, 303 N. Evers St.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Boy Scouts of America c/o Gulf Ridge Council,