Roger Snow remembered as man of words, joie de vivre

SUCKER GARDEN–Those who had encountered the late Roger Snow quickly recall a stately gentleman who was always immaculately dressed, often with an ascot tie, and his pipe. They knew him as a man of words and followed those words in the numerous editorials he wrote for this newspaper, The Daily Herald, of which he was a co-founder along with his now-widow Mary Jane Hellmund.

However, it was the glimpse into the more private man – the jovial grandfather full of stories, the father who played Sinterklaas for his six children, and the brother with whom the horrors of World War II was vividly lived – that was shared at the late Snow’s funeral held in Royal Funeral Home on Thursday afternoon.

Snow (82) was stolen by death on Saturday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He faced the disease and the strokes he suffered as he did almost everything in life – with stoicism, according to this family.

Before the onset of the disease, Snow was known for his prolific writing, a passion that started in his boyhood days when he was on the editorial team of his school paper. He kept writing close to his heart when he became a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.
His son, attorney Jelmer Snow, shared in his eulogy that his father had reignited his passion for journalism in the 1980s while in Curaçao through his Foundation Graphic Communication. His focus was on encouraging youngsters to pursue journalism.

Roger-Dick, the late Snow’s youngest son, said: “We all knew my father as a man of words … lots and lots of words.” He jested, “Thank God he had his newspaper to get rid of those words.” Adding the late Snow’s love of politics into the mix, Roger-Dick said his father “loved politics so much he made himself ‘President Snow’ … of The Daily Herald.”

Jelmer said his father’s strong feelings and opinions were impacted by living through World War II, an especially tough period during which his father and brother Gordon B. Snow had to be evacuated to England from the Netherlands in the last winter before the liberation of the Dutch people. They were shipped to England with other badly malnourished children.
The evacuation of the young Snow boys was only part of the horror they saw. They were also witnesses of the Rotterdam Blitz from their rooftop in The Hague.

Jelmer and his brother Gordon, Snow’s second son and managing editor of this newspaper (named for Snow’s brother), spoke of the profound impact the war had on their father. They also recalled his jovial spirit and humour.

More than anything, it was the late Snow’s joie de vivre, his sense of humour and gift as a listener that were commented on the most. Jelmer remembered his father telling him and his sibling before the Sinterklaas celebrations that he had to go to Groningen, only to return hours later in costume with armfuls of sweets and stories.

Through his stories, the late Snow had “the gift” to keep children and adults in suspense, said Jelmer.

Daughter Wes spoke of the wonderful family time and trips her father took her and her siblings on and the adventures that led them to live in Curaçao, a world away from their home in the Netherlands.

The late Snow moved his family to the island when he was appointed as the protestant minister there. The post had required a fluent English-speaker, which the late Snow, who was born in Breda, was, having spent part of his childhood in England with his parents before the war and again when he pursued the study of theology in London.
Maxime Lee, the eldest granddaughter said her “opa” was “the man who brought the family together” and who was always happy to spend time with his brood of grandchildren. Among her fondest memories are his Easter egg hunts and his dish of “spaghetti al Roger” that was made especially for the grandchildren.

Former Commissioner/businessman Michael Ferrier, who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the memorial service, described the farewell to the late Snow as “the celebration of a well-lived life” of a man who was an inspiration to many.

Veteran politician Roy Marlin said of the late Snow: “Roger was always good to me in my political career. Even when we disagreed, we still discussed our views in a phone call.”
In his storied career, the late Snow had served as a director of the Curacao-based Amigoe – the oldest newspaper in the Dutch Caribbean; set up the now defunct Chronicle, the first daily newspaper in St. Maarten; and launched The Daily Herald and youth-centred Teen Times. Of his many accomplishments, Jelmer said The Daily Herald was “the biggest achievement” of his father’s life.

Snow’s legacy will live on in the papers of The Daily Herald, stepson and publisher Paul De Windt said in his tribute. The newspaper will continue to honour him through its fair reporting, integrity, consistency and dedication to the community it serves. The newspaper, he noted, does not belong to the family: “The Daily Herald belongs to the people” it provides the news to every day.

Snow was a long-time Rotarian. He was a founding member of the Classical Delight Foundation through which he and other shared their love for the classics with the community and schoolchildren via regular concerts featuring internationally known musicians and singers.

The tributes to the late Snow were punctuated by classical pieces he enjoyed from Beethoven, Chopin and Gabriel Fauré. His private cremation was preceded by a spiritual service led by Bernadine van Veen.

Source: The Daily Herald