Helen Snyder

Helen Petitt Snyder, 90, of Chautauqua and formerly of Caledonia, New York, passed away peacefully at her home on May 28, 2021, with family at her side. 

The daughter of the late Clarence and Florence Wassink Petitt, she was born Aug. 4, 1930, in Niobe, New York.

Helen was a 1948 graduate of Chautauqua Central School. She continued her education, earning a degree in elementary education from Fredonia State College. She enjoyed a career as an elementary school teacher at Caledonia-Mumford Central School, from which she retired. 

She was a lifelong Chautauquan, a member of the Chautauqua Women’s Club, and an active member of several bridge groups. She loved participating in the annual antique show at Chautauqua Institution.

After Helen retired, she enjoyed traveling to Florida, the southwest U.S., and several trips to Europe. Upon retiring she moved to her family home at Chautauqua Institution. She worked for Chautauqua Institution Summer School as a calligrapher and for the Chautauqua Utility District. Helen also co-owned and operated antique stores Plaza Time in Chautauqua and The Antique Barn in Rochester, New York. She enjoyed collecting antiques, playing bridge, and family time.

Helen is survived by her two sons; Stephen (Amy) Snyder of Mayville, and Gary Snyder of Chautauqua, three grandchildren; Sam and Leah Snyder, and Ashley (David) Wood of Livonia, New York, two great grandchildren; Maddy and Lexi Wood, one brother; Floyd (Trudy) Petitt of Knoxville, Tennessee, and several beloved nieces and nephews.

     In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Mae Petitt, and one brother; Lewis Petitt.

     At Helen’s request, no visitation was observed. A private memorial graveside service was held at the Chautauqua Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Rev. Jay Summerville officiated.

Memorial contributions can be made to Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care (20 W. Fairmount Ave, Lakewood, NY, 14750) or Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (PO Box 45, Lakewood, NY 14750). To leave a remembrance or to post condolences to the family, please visit


The author webchq