September 18, 2010

USA: "The devil didn't want me. Neither did the Lord," quips 102 year old about longevity

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PORT CLINTON, Ohio / Port Clinton News Herald / September 18, 2010

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

Mary Snider has no longevity secrets: 'The devil didn't want me. Neither did the Lord,' she says

By Catharine Hadley • Staff writer

PORT CLINTON -- What is the proper way to celebrate a 102nd birthday?

Mary Snider knows the answer. "Popcorn," she said Friday, just before a popcorn party at Edgewood Manor Nursing Center.

"I got a lot of cards and a lot of candy, and of course, I've got a lot of friends here," she said.

Several friends and family members visited her Friday, some bearing her favorite candy -- chocolate.

Snider was born in the Cleveland area in 1908, and was adopted by a local couple who lived on Fifth Street. Her father, Francis "Frank" Kleinegger, worked at what was then the hospital on Third Street.

She said she did not especially like school, and she left in 11th grade.

"I worked for a while on a farm," she said.

Mary Snider celebrated her 102nd birthday Friday at Edgewood Manor Nursing Center in Port Clinton.
(James Proffitt / News Herald)
 
She married Leo Snider in her early 20s. Not long after, they became the parents of Betty and William. During the Great Depression, they lived in Oak Harbor, and a neighbor with a farm helped the family.

They later moved back to Port Clinton.

"We moved to Fifth Street and the school was right across the street," Snider said.

Her husband was in the Coast Guard. "He was at the Coast Guard station, and I made him do the cooking when he got home," she said with a laugh. Leo Snider also was involved with the police force at the time.

"He was good-looking. Nice and thin, but he got fat. That's because he cooked a lot," Snider said. "He couldn't make a pie, though. We had to throw it in the lake. We couldn't even cut the crust."

The couple loved to go dancing on Friday nights when he returned from the station.

"I could dance and sing. Oh, yeah, I could sing, too, because my mother was a singer, soprano," she said.

She enjoyed singing in the choir at Immaculate Conception Church. Her hobbies included crocheting, knitting, pinochle, baking and making candy.

Snider was on a bowling team, too.

"I had a 150 average," she said.

She also liked to play the piano and do oil paintings. She had no favorite subject.

"Everything, everything I could get a hold of. The very first picture I ever painted was a rose on a table in a vase," she said.

Over the years, she worked as a dispatcher for Port Clinton's first taxicab company, and worked in restaurants with her daughter Betty Henderson.

Snider has seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She said she has a lot of friends at Edgewood.

She likes playing bingo and has a wrist full of beaded bracelets she won to prove it.

Snider said she doesn't have any secrets to living a long life.

"I had a lot of help," she said. "I've got a lot of friends."

She did joke about her longevity.

"The devil didn't want me," she said. "Neither did the Lord."

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