Snyder, Clifford A. (1914-1947)

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Doris and Clifford Snyder wedding photo

Clifford Anson Snyder: missionary; born 24 October 1914 in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario to Menno (16 September 1888-7 August 1956) and Ida (Groh) Snyder (27 July 1890-12 January 1975). He was the oldest child in a family of two sons and three daughters. On 26 June 1943 he married Doris Swartzentruber, the daughter of missionaries Amos and Edna Swartzentruber. Clifford and Doris had two children, Margaret Anne and C. (Clifford) Arnold. Clifford Anson Snyder died 10 April 1947.

As a child, Clifford A. Snyder moved with his family to a farm at Natchez, a small community now within the boundaries of Kitchener, Ontario. He completed high school at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate, and went on to study at Ontario Mennonite Bible School, where he graduated in 1935. During these years he enjoyed singing, and even directed a singing school at Guernsey, Saskatchewan in 1938. He attended Toronto Bible College and graduated from there in 1944. During his studies in Toronto he worked at the Toronto Mission both in the Sunday school and through occasional preaching. Shortly following graduation from Toronto Bible College he was ordained as a minister on 20 August 1944.

Snyder continued studies at Goshen College in Indiana, graduating with a B.A. in 1945. During this time Clifford and Doris felt a call to mission work in Argentina. The Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities appointed them temporarily to Spanish mission work in Chicago in preparation for the South American work.

Farewell services at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener were held 19 March 1947, and the family sailed from New York on 23 March. Near the equator on 9 April 1947 Clifford suddenly took ill and died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 10 April 1947. He was buried at sea. Doris and the children continued on to Argentina where they stayed with her parents, Amos and Edna Swartzentruber. Doris continued to serve in Argentina until 1950 and also had a term of service in Puerto Rico from 1952-1958. She later remarried and lived with her husband in New Jersey.

Clifford A. Snyder's story was one of much promise, although he never reached the mission field to which he aspired. His premature death challenged other young adults to service in the post-war years and became one of the "legends" of Ontario Mennonite mission history.


Shantz, Merle. "Clifford Anson Snyder." Mennonite Yearbook and Directory 39 (1948): 28-29.

Bender, John, ed. Pilgerleben, Pilgrims, Peregrinos: Sixty Years of Vision and Ministry: Amos and Edna Swartzentruber, Nelson and Ada Litwiller. Waterloo, Ontario : Western Ontario Mennonite Conference, 1984.

Clifford A. Snyder Collection at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Author(s) Sam Steiner
Date Published April 2002

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Steiner, Sam. "Snyder, Clifford A. (1914-1947)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2002. Web. 18 Sep 2019.,_Clifford_A._(1914-1947)&oldid=114998.

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Steiner, Sam. (April 2002). Snyder, Clifford A. (1914-1947). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2019, from,_Clifford_A._(1914-1947)&oldid=114998.

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