April 7, 1934 – March 25, 2017
Delmar Snider, MD, age 82, passed away on March 25, 2017. Del was born on April 7, 1934 in Oakland, California to Delmar Sr. and Elsie Snider. He had an active youth and started working at age nine. He became active in amateur radio (W6HJM) and scouting becoming an Eagle Scout in March 1949.
He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School, Alameda, in 1952. He then went to the University of Notre Dame where he majored in physics and engineering. He was able to brag that he played for Notre Dame – he played left tuba in the marching band. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy becoming a midshipman in June 1953. During his years there he was a member of the Naval Academy crew team. He also learned to love sailing. Upon graduation in 1957, Del took his commission in the United States Air Force. His first tour of duty was at the University of Illinois where, in 1958, he got his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering specializing in digital computer design. He married Callise Harvey, RN in February 1958. His next assignment was to the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, New York. He worked there as a research and development engineer in intelligence data processing and served as the project engineer on a $17,000,000 data processing system.
In 1959 everything changed. In March Del’s younger brother, Peter, died after an auto accident. In June Callise, who had developed a fatal kidney disease, gave birth to Delmar III who only lived four days. Callise died five months later. During the course of her illness Del developed an interest in medicine which he pursued in Callise’s memory.
Del married Twyla Novak, Lt. USAF, in February 1961. After two years of night school to meet pre-med requirements, Del was accepted into the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He resigned from the Air Force and started med school in Sept. 1962. By then, he and Twyla had two children, Peter and Ruth. They divorced in 1970.
Del received his MD degree in June, 1967 and had a one year internship at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco. He then went to Stanford University for three years of anesthesia residency, two years of which he was a NIH Fellow in computer applications to anesthesia. He was Chief Resident in his senior year. He married Geri Terezas, RN in December 1970. He remained at Stanford as an Asst. Professor for two and one half years. Del lectured nationwide to hospital and physician groups as well as scientific and industrial organizations about electrical safety in operating rooms and hospitals. In 1969 he became Vice-President of Neurodyne-Dempsey, manufacturer of medical electronic testing equipment. It was decided to move the company to Carson City so Del came to Carson in July 1974 as the first anesthesiologist at Carson-Tahoe Hospital. He quickly realized that the hospital work load demanded all his attention so he gave up his position at Neurodyne. Much of his early effort was to educate the hospital staff as to the services an anesthesiologist can provide in the hospital setting.
He served as Chief of the Anesthesia Service for the next eleven years. It was his privilege to be able to provide care to his patients and to work with a great nursing staff in surgery. In June of 1975 he started SpectraMed Inc. which ran Professional Ambulance in Carson City, employer of the first two paramedics in Nevada. Losses forced closure of the business after 2 years. He started Sierra Management Service in 1977 which provided a billing office for anesthesiologists (there were several on staff by this time) and time share computer services for 13 years. In spite of this workload, Del managed to indulge in his passion for skiing, scuba diving, sailing and flying. He and Geri were divorced in February 1981.
He served on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation from May 1973 to May 1976. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Nevada Professional Standards Review Organization from April 1975 to December 1977. He was a member of the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Board of Trustees from February 1984 to January 1985. He served as President of the Nevada State Medical Association from June 1985 to May 1986. He was a member of the Carson City Brewery Arts Center Board of Directors from June 1985 to January 1987. He served as a member of the admissions committee at the University of Nevada, School of Medicine from January 1986 to January 1989. He was a member of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners from June 1987 to June 1992. He was Vice-chairman of the Carson City Airport Authority from December 1989 to May 1990. He was honored as Nevada Physician of the Year for Community Service by the Nevada State Medical Association and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in April 1994.
Illness forced Del to retire in October 1997. Over the next several years his health improved and in October 2001 he was able to secure a position as Senior Physician at Nevada State Prison where he worked providing primary medical care to adult male inmates. In January 2005 he was introduced to a new employee, Director of Nursing, Sandy Hanneke, RN. They were married 6 months later. Del retired in June 2009. He and Sandy enjoyed their home where Del was able to keep playing his piano and working in his shop. He was grateful for the camaraderie of the Carson City Men’s Club.
Del was preceded in death by his father in 1961 and his mother in 1995. Also too many classmates, business associates, friends and acquaintances have passed on. He is survived by his wife Sandy, son Peter (Debbie), daughter Ruth (Russel), sister Sylvia, step sons Jonathan (Sandy) and Spencer and 6 grandchildren.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Cancer Center, Carson Tahoe Health Foundation. P.O. Box 2148, Carson City, NV 89702 (775)445-5166.