Ralph W. Snyder, 80 of Greensburg died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Ralph was a loving husband, devoted father and beloved Pap. He was also a loyal son, brother and uncle, a true friend and a selfless coach. Ralph was born February 28, 1940 in Rostraver Township to the late Edgar F. and Henrietta M. (Finley) Snyder. He graduated from Rostraver High School in 1959. He met his love and teammate for life, Ethel L. Carney on a blind date in 1961 and were married on December 26, 1963. In August 1963 Ralph was drafted to the Army where he spent 2 years stationed in Korea. Upon his return from Korea, he settled with Ethel briefly in Greensburg and then in Norvelt and began working for Elliott’s in Jeannette where he stayed for 36 years until his retirement in 2002. During their time in Norvelt Ralph and Ethel began raising their two daughters, Renee and Susan. He was a skilled and talented carpenter and completely remodeled their original Norvelt home himself. Ralph also loved the outdoors where he spent many fun-filled and adventurous seasons with his dad, brothers and brothers-in-law, nephews and then his son-in-law and grandsons hunting the forests and fields of western PA for deer, pheasants and grouse. He loved to travel with Ethel and his girls and was very proud of his brand new Econoline van when he drove them to San Diego to visit Ethel’s family. The entire Carney family loved and admired Ralph and the feeling was mutual. In 1977 the family moved to West Point where Ralph called home for the rest of his life. It was here where his oldest daughter Renee signed up to play West Point Little League Softball and after one year as a spectator Ralph decided to volunteer as a coach and the legend began. Ralph hung up his own cleats and turned his focus to coaching and sharing his knowledge of the game with his girls and others. He was one of the original pioneers that helped lay the foundation and reputation of West Point Girls Softball. He was the coach of many district, section, state and regional champions and was also the coach of the very first West Point World Series team in 1983. He was proud to be a part of this organization but was prouder that he was able to bring along his first and most prized player, his youngest daughter Sue. In 1986 he started building the Westmoreland Gems dynasty. As the manager of the Gems Ralph amassed over 1,000 wins until he retired from coaching in 2001. In the late 1990s he also served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Hempfield Spartans softball team and was a member of the 1999 PIAA State Championship team. In 1996 Ralph was awarded the Mike Ferrante Memorial Award for his contributions to girls softball in Westmoreland County. After his retirement from Elliott’s and the Gems Ralph didn’t slow down. He decided to take up golf and as with everything else, he did it with preparation and practice until he honed yet another new skill. He was in multiple golf leagues at Valley Green and Glengarry Golf Links. For many years he volunteered at Glengarry where you could still see him washing carts up until this last season. He loved to travel with Ethel and enjoyed many trips with his family to Alaska (twice), Hawaii, a Caribbean cruise for their 50th anniversary and Disney World. They loved to spend their winters in Naples where he would patiently coach his favorite teammate, Ethel, in the game of golf. Ethel soon developed a love of the game and together they shared many rounds. As proud of Renee and Sue as he was, he was even prouder of his two grandsons, Thomas “TJ” and Jacob. Pap was a fixture at every one of their milestones and sporting events and proudly wore the Latrobe colors. He happily switched to Blue and White when both boys were admitted to Penn State. In addition to his parents Ralph is predeceased by his siblings Ernest, Alan, Raymond, Robert “Shark” and Jean Stevenson. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Ethel and his daughter Renee and her husband Jeff Greene and his daughter Sue and her husband Jerry Blatt. He is also survived by his two grandsons TJ and Jacob Greene, two step-grandchildren Noah and Jaden Blatt and his siblings Kenneth, Wilbur, Janice Richter and Laura LaRose.
Family and friends will be received on Sunday, January 17th from 2 to 5pm at the KEPPLE-GRAFT Funeral Home 524 N. Main Street, Greensburg. Everyone is asked to wear masks and social distance.
Ralph's blessing service and interment will be private and a live stream of his service will be available on Monday at 10 am by visiting the Kepple-Graft Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to Excela Health Home Care & Hospice Fund, One Mellon Way, Latrobe PA 15650-9905.
For online condolences and information, please visit www.kepplegraft.com.