Emily Snyder Reid
Emily Snyder Reid died March 18, 2017, at her home in Westsound. She was the first born of Ralph Snyder and Aimee Watters Snyder’s four children in Spokane Washington on October 7, 1919. She was raised on Hilltop Farm, a wheat ranch, in eastern Washington, in Adams County. She attended school in Washtucna for her first twelve years and graduated with her class of twelve in 1938. She majored in Botany at Whitman and was a Tri Delt. She continued her studies at Washington State in Pullman until 1942. She had met Payton Reid while still in High school; he was the older brother of a schoolmate, who was living in Chicago. He was a long distance, on and off boyfriend when she accepted his marriage proposal in the spring of 1942. Her best friend Mary Sutton had the idea to commandeer their farmer father’s gas ration and drive to San Francisco. With a backseat and a trunk full of gasoline off they went. In the fashion of the times, both girls were smokers.
Emily and Payton were married at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on August 15, 1942. They spent a two-day honeymoon at the Fairmont Hotel and Pat was off on the aircraft carrier, Independence. They saw each other once in the next three years. Payton was at sea for 18 months and given one week leave in Hawaii. They did meet up in May of 1944 for a week. After the war, they lived for a year in Seattle then moved to Portland where they raised their family. Emily was challenged by the role of homemaker, finding the housework, laundry, meal making expected of her quite boring. She insisted that her husband teach her to drive, which he did after all the children were in school. She then launched herself into activities she found more interesting with other women who were like-minded. She was an active and enthusiastic member of the Willamette Arrangers Guild, The Iris Society, The Audubon Society, the Cedar Hills Garden Club, and later she served on the board of the National Garden Club. She was an accredited flower Show judge, an officer in the Northwest Horticultural Society, and on the board of the Oregon State Fair. She was appointed by Governor Booth Gardner to the Washington State Council on Aging. She was also a Girl Scout leader and summer camp counselor known as Piper. While not a particularly nurturing or affectionate parent, Emily was a fierce and loyal mother who protected and supported the endeavors of all of her children throughout their lives.
After vacationing on Orcas for several years, Emily and Payton purchased their farm in Westsound in 1958. The island was a focal point of family life, centered on boating and fishing. They retired and started their move to Orcas Island in 1976, where they had every intention of building a house. After she was widowed in 1981, Emily lost interest in the project and was quite content in the old ramshackle farmhouse that had been assembled from various cabins and sheds in the early nineteen hundreds. She preferred spending her time out of doors, in her garden, the woods and the beach. In her later years, she loved giving visitors a tour of her farm in her golf cart. She planted over 200 trees over the years and kept a close eye on them and the clumps of blackberries and wild roses she deliberately left as bird cover. She was a believer in the county weed board and battled tansy ragwort every year. Besides being a lifelong learner she was a lifelong composter, amending the soil in her fenced garden to the point her dahlias were the size of Frisbees with only a little kelp meal folded in. She was a seed saver, a voracious reader and an early diehard recycler. She was an active member of the Orcas community; she especially enjoyed the musical events provided by Martin Lund, The Orcas Chamber music festival, the Orcas Choral Society, The Band and of course, the school music recitals, which she attended faithfully. She was a lifetime member of the Orcas Garden club and even in her last months hated to miss a meeting.
She is survived by her two sisters, Frances Snyder Ellis of Walla Walla and Stephanie Snyder Coon at The Bar U Ranch near Washtucna. Her three Children, William Reid, Christina Orchid and Michael Reid. Her daughters in law, Karma (Bill) Reid, and Jan (Mike) Reid and son in law Bruce Orchid. She leaves three grandchildren, Peter Lackaff, Amanda Reid Wadleigh, and James Reid. Her great-grandchildren are Sebastian Lackaff and Isaac Wadleigh. Also Many nieces, nephews, grands and greats. She also leaves behind her special friends, Fred Lackaff, Barbara Ehrmantraut, Gwyneth Burrill, and John Robertson. While Emily loved flowers, she was also a pragmatist and would want any memorials in cash to the Orcas Community Foundation, Orcas Senior Services, or the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. There will be a celebration for Emily on Saturday, April 1, 1 p.m. at the Westsound Community Hall on Orcas.