Leonard James Schnetzer Jr. of Fairlawn, Ohio died at age 85 on November 15th, 2022. To his friends and family, he was Snetz, but to his grandchildren he was Papa, a.k.a. Dap Dap.
Snetz was born on June 2, 1937 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He attended Classical High, where he held the top math score in the school for three consecutive years and placed 5th highest in the northeast United States region for mathematics. He graduated from M.I.T. in Chemical Engineering in 1959 and told entertaining stories of the legendary pranks that made M.I.T. famous.
Snetz met his wife, Gloria Kropac, at her family's mattress factory in Akron, Ohio. After a successful first date at a wrestling match, Snetz and Gloria married on June 10th, 1961 and had two children, Michael and Joan. Snetz pioneered polymer applications in synthetic fibers at Firestone for 27 years and later at Denman Tire for an additional 7 years in manager and director roles. He worked for 5 years as a chemical engineering consultant, and another 10 years as a financial consultant at the family business. A Navy veteran, he was leader of Boy Scout Troop One and Great Trail Council for a combined 30 years, counted the St. Sebastian Church collection for 41 years, and was a loving husband for 61 years.
Snetz leaves behind a trove of photos from family coast-to-coast road trips with their camper and his travels around the world taken with his reflex cameras. He built stereos, televisions, and inventions around the house, loved to entertain his grandchildren, and rode motorcycles for fun. He was a devout Catholic, an avid reader of history, hiker, cyclist, cook, and-above all-doting family man.
His peculiar mix of rigid discipline and joy for life can be epitomized in one daily ritual. Ask anyone that knew him; they will unanimously respond that he mixed the very best gin Martini ever!
Snetz was preceded in death by his parents Leonard Sr. and Martha Schnetzer of Springfield, MA., and sister Joan McGrath of Woburn, MA. He is survived by his beloved wife Gloria of Fairlawn, OH, his son Michael Jasper of Fontenay-sur-Loing, France, and his daughter Joan E. and her Husband Harry Fenton of Rockton, IL, and by his grandchildren Harrison Fenton of Rockton, IL, Elizabeth Fenton of Madison, WI, Amelia Fenton of Milwaukee, WI and Paige Fenton and great-grandsons Elijah, Vincent, and Charles of Rockton, IL.
Other relatives include Dick and Marion Casto of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Jeanette Fairchild of Cary, NC, Fred (deceased) and Helen Golding of Georgetown, KY, Dr. James and Carolyn Hogan of Bath, OH, Nancy Meyer of Conway, SC, Sylvia Kropac of Cuyahoga Falls, OH and John Kropac of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. He also will be missed by 20 adoring nieces and nephews, and many life-long friends.
Snetz's celebration of life will be on Monday November 21, 2022. The visitation is at St. Sebastian Catholic Church (through front entrance in vestibule) at 10 AM located at 476 Mull Ave., Akron, OH followed by mass at 11 AM. The burial will follow immediately after mass at Holy Cross Cemetery at 12:15 PM located at 100 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron, OH, followed by lunch at 1 PM at Guy's Party Center 500 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron, OH. We welcome all friends and family to attend some or all portions of this celebration for beloved Snetz.