Jane Snyder

jane snyder
Jane Nelson Snyder, 54, of Moorhead, MN peacefully passed away on June 19, 2015 at Sanford in Fargo, ND in the company of her loving family after a courageous two and a half year battle with cancer. Jane was born on June 10, 1961 in Moorhead, MN, the daughter of Jim and Philomena (Varriano) Nelson.  She graduated from Moorhead High School in 1979.  Following graduation, she attended Concordia College where she majored in English education and played clarinet in the Concordia Band.  She married Jim Snyder of Fargo, ND on June 17, 1983, and began her teaching career at Barnesville High school.  She later received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Jane was an English teacher and librarian at Discovery Middle School, Ben Franklin Middle school, and Fargo South High School.  She loved her students and made a positive impact on many young lives. In her spare time, Jane enjoyed playing clarinet in the Lake Agassiz Concert Band, playing the piano with St. Joseph’s Joyful Noise choir, and spending time with her family.  Jane also enjoyed the company of her book club and playing her clarinet in a quartet for special events.  She will be remembered for her love of books, music, her colorful flower garden, and selfless willingness to help others. Jane is survived by her parents, her loving husband of 32 years, Jim, their two children Chris (Jackie) Snyder of Moorhead, MN, and Kate (Chad) Hingst, of Oceanside, CA; sister, Lisa (Brad) Borgen, Moorhead, MN; brothers Jim (Sherry) Nelson, Dilworth, MN and Joe (Kathy) Nelson, Brainerd, MN; her father and mother-in-law, Jim and Georgia Snyder, Fargo, ND; thirteen nieces and nephews, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 25, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead at 7:00 p.m. with a visitation from 5:00-7:00.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, June 26 at 11:00 a.m.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Jane was my 8th grade English teacher, and 25 years later, I am proud to call her a friend and wonderful colleague. I will truly miss her, and my thoughts are with your family.

  2. My sincere sympathy to Jane’s family. I was saddened to read in the Forum of her death. I have many great memories of our daily commutes to Barnesville high school, and I knew her to be a very fine woman of integrity. I am sure she has touched so many lives since those days. May you find comfort in your own memories.

  3. I was fortunate to be able to work with Jane and mostly learn FROM Jane at Fargo South. She was always friendly and helpful with any situation she encountered. I knew I could look to her for ideas and guidance whenever I needed it. Jane was an inspiration to me, and I will truly miss her smile and great attitude. She made me feel like everything would be OK, and I think she is still telling me that now. She is one of the kindest people I have ever known.

  4. I first met Jane at Concordia College. Both played in the orchestra; Jane was an member of the woodwinds while I was a violinist. Later on we became colleagues at Ben Franklin Jr. High and Discovery. I never had a chance to teach on the same ” team” as Jane, but I was always impressed with her professionalism and ability to get the most out of her students. After transferring to South High a few years ago, I finally was able to work directly with Jane through her role as a media specialist and tech coach. I greatly appreciated the help that both Jane and Gayle offered to me as we attempted several new projects. Jane occasionally assisted directly in the classroom as we taught new technology skills. She had such a nice touch with students and teachers; answering questions without judging their technology skills. Jane was a wonderful colleague, teacher, wife, and mother. She will be missed by all.

  5. I’m very sorry to hear of this loss. My thoughts and prayers are with Jim and their family.

  6. The love we give is the love we take with us. Janie gave so much love to everyone. She is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I am blessed to call her my cousin. Rest now in the arms of Jesus surrounded by his glorious love. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers are with you, Jim, Chris and Kate. Uncle Jim, Aunt Phil, Lisa, Jim, Joey and family. May God comfort you and give you his peace. With love, Kathleen

  7. Jane was such a strong educator. Dedicated and passionate in her fields, she took on new challenges and never looked back. When faced with this last challenge, she kept on teaching until it became too difficult health- wise. I last saw her at the librarians’ spring event which is a time we can all celebrated the end of retirees’ teaching. She visited, talked, laughed and seemed enjoyed the event. We will miss you, Jane. You spread joy and kindness to all of us. This is a true loss to education, family and friends.

  8. Jane touched so many people’s lives, and how blessed and fortunate we have been to have known her. We will remember her most for the love she possesses (even now as she has found rest in God’s arms) for her family and, for us, her friends. As we grieve and as we celebrate her life, we will cherish memories of Jane’s laughter and her genuine, radiant smile. Jane has been such a strong example of how to listen with one’s heart and of how to live with grace. She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and full of great joy. We will miss Jane greatly and extend our prayers to her dearly loved family.

  9. Distance will prevent me from being able to show my respect to the family but know in my heart that I feel your sadness and will be thinking and praying for you all.

  10. I had Mrs. Snyder as an English teacher at Ben Franklin. I will always remember her soft teaching voice and her way of making me feel confident and successful in her class. She was a memorable teacher and gone too soon in life. Peace to her family’s hearts as they grieve this great loss.

  11. Jane is an incredible person and musician. I played violin with her (with the Joyful Noise choir) every year at Christmas – she was always so welcoming and kind. My thoughts are with all of her family – I am extremely sad to hear of her passing, but know I will feel her presence every year at Christmas Mass at St. Joe’s and that makes me smile.

  12. Jane was a friendly and sincere person. I love her peaceful way of handling everything. Before Hunger Games was popular, she suggested it as a Read I might enjoy. As I read the first pages, I was repeatedly questioning how anyone could recommend the story due to the premise, but I kept thinking since Jane recommended it, it must be good. Sure enough! I will remember her kindness.

  13. Mrs. Snyder family,

    I go to know Mrs. Snyder at Ben Franklin middle school when I was in the 9th grade year 2003. I was a student worker in the library that year.

    Cody Hamilton

  14. I am so sad to read Jane has died. I met Jane when Discovery JHS opened. She taught both my son and daughter. She was just the best teacher and person. I was so happy to see she was working in the library. Our prayers to the family members. Anita Blair. Fort Collins Co.

  15. I worked with Jane at Discovery in the late 1990’s–I was a special education para-professional.

    The memory I instantly had of Jane when I saw her obituary was of her in her 1960’s hippie garb as she led her class through the 60’s week that her team at Discovery would have every year. One year I lent her several of my beatnik literature books and references to use in class.

    We had a good crew at Discovery.

    Donald Carter Kress
    Discovery 1996–2002
    (now in Williston, ND)

  16. I was blessed to work with Jane at South. She was a constant reminder that the most important thing a teacher can do is care for students. She shared her gifts with teachers and students every day. She will be remembered by so many. May her family find continued strength during these difficult days.

  17. I think Mrs. Snyder would appreciate that I did not like her when she was my instructor and I imagine that was because unlike so many of my other teachers, she pushed me. Maybe she saw that I was a student that had natural talent and was coasting along with my fellow classmates, blending in, and waiting for summer break. Instead of letting me go along like that, she challenged me to work harder. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but what kind of wisdom did I hold at the bristling age of 14? Thank you, Jane for your time and effort. Thank you for your enthusiasm. And I’d also like to thank your family. Surely there were times that you had to take work home with you whether it was grading or creating lesson plans. Thank you Snyder family for the sacrifices you made as well. My thoughts will be with you during this difficult time. I’m sure that you find some comfort in knowing that your wife or mother is out of pain.

  18. Prayers to your family, Jane was my 8th grade English teacher. She was so kind and an amazing teacher! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  19. So saddened by this news. Mrs.Snyder was one of my favorite teachers! She came to my graduation party in 1987 and gave me a thesaurus. I still have it after all these years and pulled it out to use
    with my kids just this year! She touched so many lives being a teacher. She was a favorite in Barnesville! Thought and prayers.

  20. I recently stumbled upon a notebook that had some extra blank pages in it, so I took it to work without looking in it to use as a note pad. As I flipped through the first few pages later that day, I realized it was my 9th grade journal from Mrs. Snyder’s English class. It made my day finding that and reading through my posts and thoughts of the time in early 2000/2001. Jane was a wonderful teacher, with a warm heart and a great smile for everyone she interacted with. I am sending my condolences to those that worked many years with her, and especially her close family and friends.

  21. Jane was a kind, lovely young woman. I haven’t seen her since high school, but was sad to hear of her passing. Condolences to her family and friends.

  22. Jim and family: I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed talking with Jane and loved her beautiful smile!

  23. Jane was my first cousin and a finer one could not be found. They claim that people are shaped by their environment, community, family and colleges. But, I believe in Jane’s case the lord placed her on earth to be an exceptionally perfect person from the beginning of her life through to the end. Today the world has taken a tremendous loss and I feel that I cannot find the rhyme or reason for things.

  24. To the Nelson, Varriano and Snyder families, my deepest condolences. I was a friend of Jane, and
    Jim, in High School and beyond. Jane is a lady that I will always hold dear, in my heart and mind. She was a kind soul who was a truly selfless person. She will be missed but never forgotten.

  25. “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” -Henry Brooks Adams
    Reading through all the comments, it is clear to see that Jane had an enormous impact on the people she came into contact with. Although I didn’t have the privilege to know her as well as others or work with her as closely as some, she certainly made an everlasting impression on me. When Jane gave a compliment, you knew she meant it and I appreciated that about her. She held high standards for students and her colleagues, pushing them to improve and not just settle for good enough. Any time I asked for help with something, she was there to offer a variety of ideas and suggestions to enhance any lesson. Jane was truly a teacher who affected many and no one will be able to tell where her influence stops. May her family and friends find comfort in knowing her impact has influenced many and will continue to touch the lives of countless members of the community.

  26. I will never forget your fun smile, your cute laugh, your support through everything. We love you Jane,

    Deb, Abby, Matt

  27. Jane will be greatly missed. I had the pleasure of working with her at different schools and she was always so wonderfully kind and helpful. She radiated love. Sending her family my warmest thoughts and prayers.

  28. So sorry about the loss of your wife, Jim & family. What a wonderful tribute video you shared.

  29. Cousin Jane was a wonderful daughter to Uncle Jim and Aunt Phil. She was the eldest child and embraced that responsibility.My sympathies to her husband and children. I think it’s great that she was able to attend the two weddings last summer of her children. She fought cancer courageously even continuing at school for a long time. I think God was anxiously waiting to welcome her to her eternal peace.

  30. I knew Jane from back in the school days growing up, she was a wonderful person. She would take the time to talk with me and always made me feel at ease. Sorry to hear of her passing. My condolences to the family.

  31. I don’t know if it’s too late to sign the guestbook, but I just learned of Jane’s passing and wanted to express my condolences. Jim, I used to work with Parker at W&R, and would speak with you & Jane on the phone and sometimes when you were in the office. I’m so sorry for your loss, and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  32. I saw the notice of Jane’s passing in the Concondia magazine. This is so sad. We met at Concordia college in band. Both of us played clarinet. On every band trip we would room together. Our senior year we were both in orchestra. It was so much fun. Jane was such a positive and inspirational person. I’m so sorry for her passing at such a young age.

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all her friends. She was a wonderful person.

    Julie (Lundgren) Thompson

  33. I was so sad to see the news of Jane’s passing in the Concordia magazine. We were in band together both of us played clarinet. On every band trip we were also roommates. Our senior year we also played in orchestra together – the two clarinetists. It was so much fun. Jane was always so positive and enjoyable to be with. Such a loss at such a young age. My thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of Janes. She will be missed. Please take care.

    Julie (Lundgren) Thompson

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