BAXTER - Chester J. "Chet" Snyder, 91, of Baxter, died Friday, March 13, 2009, at the Edgewood Vista Assisted Living in Brainerd, Minn.
Services for Chet will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, at First Lutheran Church in Brainerd, Minn. Friends are welcome to gather one hour prior to services at the church. Interment at Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd, Minn. Memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church of Brainerd.
Chet was born March 28, 1917, in Virginia, Minn., the son of August and Josephine (Schley) Snyder. After graduating from Crosby-Ironton High School, Chet went on to attend Virginia Junior College where he continued to be an active student and student-athlete. He furthered his studies at Hamline University. After graduation, he taught physical education, chemistry and American history while coaching football, basketball and baseball in Kenyon, Minn. Chet also served his country in the U.S. Navy where he was a blimp pilot. Following his honorable discharge, Chet moved to the Brainerd lakes area where he started Brainerd Sports Supply with Roy Gorman.
On July 3, 1942, Chet was united in marriage to Beatrice (Bettie) Stromberg. The couple was married for 66 years. Chet was an active member of the community. He served on various boards and clubs. He was mayor of East Gull Lake, president of the Chamber of Commerce and a charter member of the Toastmasters Club. He was instrumental in organizing the "Health Club," a group of 12 couples who were committed to connecting at least once a month to participate in social and healthy activities to keep their minds and bodies sharp. The club did a wide variety of events, some of which were horseback riding, playing soccer, Easter egg hunts and disco dancing. No member dared to miss an event as the friendships that were created were cherished. The club was strong for 45 years. When Chet retired in 1977, he and Bettie spent six months in Florida and the other half of the year at their home on Gull Lake where they lived for 42 years. Chet was inducted into the Hamline University Hall of Fame for football in 1985. Chet was a member of Rotary, First Lutheran Church and the Elks Club.
He will be missed by his wife, Bettie of Brainerd; his daughter, Deborah Snyder of Edina, Minn.; two grandchildren, Lindsay (Chris Harshbarger) Sander and Stephen Sander; and his sister, Jewell Popek, of St. Paul, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sandra Jo; his parents; his sister, Frances Nord; and three brothers, Ted Snyder, Ed Snyder and Leonard Snyder.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Funeral Chapel of Baxter.
HALVERSON / 'Go forward or drown'
First job: As a cook at Country Kitchen in Baxter at age 17.
TV character you can identify with? Monk. That's the personality you need to be an accountant so I'm a little bit Monkish. I love the debits and credits and putting things in order and chasing things down.
Brush with fame while living in California: Knew boxer Sugar Ray Leonard - a sweetheart. Was introduced to Clint Eastwood - on a short list of people who retains star power even off screen and life size. Met actor Nathan Lane - naturally funny and very personable and down-to-earth. Shook hands with actor Jon Voight. They didn't talk about his daughter Angelina Jolie.
Best advice you've ever received: Take responsibility. Quit blaming everybody else.
Best advice you've ever given: Go to college.
to pay fuel bills from the previous winter.
She felt she'd run up against a wall. She felt her choices were limited.
"It was either go forward or drown - it was the sensation I was having at the time," she said. A friend's advice about taking responsibility for your own future stuck with her. "There is only one person responsible for my life," Halverson said of herself. "That was an epiphany."
At 42, Halverson was the first woman in her immediate family to go to college.
"Most of the time I'd walk into the classroom and the freshmen would think I was the instructor," Halverson said. She became a certified public accountant. And last month, she opened her own business.
Halverson grew up in the Pequot Lakes/Pine River areas and went to school in Pillager. She studied photo finishing in Staples and later moved to California hoping to earn higher wages and get a job in a commercial lab. She lined up work but found a business closed sign on the building when she arrived.
So she supported herself with clerical work though temp agencies. Halverson said working at an accounting firm opened her eyes to greater possibilities. She worked for a high-end construction group in California. Halverson said everything she did seemed to be moving her toward an accounting career even before she realized it.
So she took the plunge. She moved back to Minnesota to go to Itasca Community College and then Bemidji State University. She took 30-credit course loads per semester at college. After working for a CPA, a construction firm, a corporate office and a manufacturer, she opened her own business - Halverson & Associates - in February on Cypress Drive in Baxter in the office buildings near Super One Foods.
"It's an adventure," Halverson said.
Halverson does tax preparation, bookkeeping, auditing, payroll services and consulting.
Her daughter, a Central Lakes College student, works part time as a receptionist at the new office. Strongly encouraging her own children to broaden their options through higher education is one of Halverson's goals. Both her daughters are in college and she has a 10-year-old son at home.
She fell in love with a piece of property near Aitkin where the family has its home.
"I plan on dying there," she said. "I just love it. It's the first place I've ever moved and felt - sigh - home."
Bunny Dotzler, who owns Bunny's Day Care in Aitkin, met Halverson when they both worked at Spalj Construction in Deerwood. Halverson's son attended Dotzler's day care.
Dotzler said Halverson's attention to detail and her organizational skills were evident as the single mom lined up contractors for her home and planned the landscaping with trees and a pond.
"She loves the outdoors and she's wonderful with flowers," Dotzler said. "She's very nice and very professional in what she does."
After a day at work reconciling columns of numbers, Halverson finds relaxation through the challenge of playing pool. She calls herself a billiards addict and has a pool table at home and plays in pool tournaments at the Oak Lawn Tavern.
"I wish her well," Dotzler said of the new business, noting Halverson is thorough and committed to her work. "I'm sure she'll do just fine."
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch. com or 855-5852.
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