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Zeruah Samantha 'Ruby' (Knight) Snyder


Ruby Snyder
Zeruah "Ruby" Samantha (Knight) Snyder
was born on Aug. 30, 1879 in Scott, Van Wert County, OH, the daughter of Daniel Harry and Caroline Elizabeth (Llewelyn) Knight.

As a young woman, in the late 1890s, Ruby moved with her parents to Gladwin, Gladwin County, MI.

When she was the age of 21, on Jan. 26, 1901, Ruby wed 24-year-old Ohio native William Lewis Snyder (1876-1938), a native of Ohio City and the son of John Snyder. Rev. William Rumley, a minister of the Gospel, officiated, and Ruby's parents were witnesses.

At the time of marriage, William was a clerk in Gladwin. Of a stout build, he stood 5 feet, 3/8 inches tall, and had brown eyes and black hair.

The Snyders together bore one son, Durward William Snyder. 

They resided in the Gladwin area for many years. 

Circa 1914, they operated a general store in Gladwin, working with Frank E. Atchinson in the grocery and drug business. Said the Gladwin County Record, "This place was the home of the first telephone exchange in Gladwin, where the clerk of the store was the telephone operator who placed local and long distance calls. After eight years with Mr. Atchinson, he bought the grocery business of his brother, Harmon, and remained in this business for about eight years."

Greetings, circa 1940s 

When the military draft was instituted during World War I, the 42-year-old William was required to register. He stated that he was an express messenger for the American Express Railway Company in Gladwin, and that Zeruah was his next of kin.

The census of 1920 lists William's occupation as "expressman" for the M.C. Railroad. Ruby's 73-year-old, widowed mother and 33-year-old unmarried sister and dressmaker Laura Ann Knight made their home with the Snyders that year.

When the federal census was taken in 1930, William was employed as a salesman in a Gladwin hardware store. Living under their roof that year were 18-year-old son Durward, also a hardware salesman, and Ruby's 43-year-old, unmarried sister Laura, a seamstress. At one time they farmed in the Hockaday area. His final employment was as a foreman for the Gladwin County Garage. William "took active part in politics, both in Butman township and Gladwin," said the Record. "He was elected supervisor of his ward in the city and at the time of his death was a member of the City Council."

Will suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at home on March 25, 1938. Rev. Karl Keefer led the funeral rites. Interment was at Highland Cemetery near Gladwin, MI. Out-of-towners traveling to attend the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Adam Snyder of Mason, Mr. and Mrs. George Snyder of Lansing, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Crandall and son of Lansing, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Parshall of Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Millhause of Flint, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hubbold and son of Flint; Mr. and Mrs. John Snyder and son of Lansing, Eva Knight of Saginaw, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Knight and daughter of Sanford, and Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Ervay of Mount Pleasant.

Ruby outlived Will by 34 years. One of her grand-nieces, Dorothy (Bender) Krieg, wrote in 1970 that "I remember Aunt Ruby as a beautiful, fragile-looking woman always -- and she still is at 91 even though she has been an invalid for years." Her final address was 121 Grout Street, Gladwin.

She surrendered to the spirit of death on April 8, 1972 as a resident of the Gladwin Nursing Home. The remains were laid to rest beside her husband's, after a separation of 34 years. The Gladwin County Record produced an obituary.


The Snyders' grave in Gladwin

~ Son Durward William "Bill" Snyder ~ 

Son Durward William "Bill" Snyder (1916-1979) was born on June 14, 1911 or 1916 in Gladwin. 

He was valedictorian of his class at Gladwin High School and a graduate of the General Motors Institute.

David entered into marriage with Edythe Millhouse (March 3, 1913-1996), a native of Scranton, PA who had moved to Flint, Genesee County. 

Their brood of three children were William Snyder, Suzanne Lee Snyder and Dr. David Snyder. 

The federal census enumeration shows that in 1935-1940, the family residence was in Flint, with Durward earning a living as a clerk with a retail grocery store.  

Eventually Durward became a chemical engineer and for three decades was employed by Buick Motors. He held a term as president of the American Electroplaters Society and was a worshipful master and secretary of the Fellowship lodge of the Masons in Flint. 

Circa 1972, after retirement, the Snyders moved to Largo, FL. Their address was 220 Country Club Drive. He held memberships in the East Bay Country Club and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Clearwater. He also gave of his time as a volunteer with the Morton F. Plant Hospital. 

Durward surrendered to the angel of death in Zephyrhills, Pasco County, FL on Nov. 25, 1979. His obituary appeared in the Tampa Bay Times. Funeral rites were conducted in the family church, by the hand of Rev. Dr. Tom T. Edwards.

Edythe lived for another 17 years. She passed away on Aug. 20, 1996. 

Son William R. Snyder (1939- ? ) was born in about 1939 in Flint. His residence in 1979 was in Davison, MI. He is deceased.

Daughter Suzanne Lee "Suzy" Snyder (1940-2012) was born on Sept. 24, 1940 in Goodrich, MN. On June 18, 1960, she was united in matrimony with Israeli native Dr. Rasem David "Ross" Ghannam (1932-2018), born in Jerusalem and the son of David and Zuhrah (Rose) Ghannam. The nuptials were conducted at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Flint. Their union endured for a remarkable 52 years and produced four offspring -- William Ross Ghannam, Julie Kay Rill, Linda Sue Lake and Brian David Ghannam. Suzanne was a valedictorian graduate of the Edward Sparrow Hospital school of nursing in Lansing and was employed as a surgical nurse at the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology. Rasem and his parents had fled the Holy Land during wartime and settled temporarily in Jordan. Then on May 10, 1951, they arrived via sailing ship in New York Harbor and then proceeded to a new home in Lansing, MI. Rasem went on to receive a degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and then graduated at the top of his class in 1959 from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He became a naturalized American on Jan. 28, 1960, at the age of 27. For three decades, Rasem practiced in Lansing with specialties in internal medicine, allergy and immunology. Said the Lansing State Journal, "He was famous for his abilities to diagnose what was ailing someone and received endless referrals as a result. Through the years, Dr. Ghannam was offered several chance-of-a-lifetime professional opportunities, some he had even dreamed of, but he always put family first and stayed in Lansing for his entire career. We were always so very proud of him and observed how his patients genuinely appreciated him, many of whom were treated for free." 

Suzanne "was a member of Spring Lake Country Club," said the Norman Transcript. "She was a classic oil painter, loved to golf, bowl, play Bridge and tennis, and she excelled in all of them." The couple balanced Rasem's professional duties with family time, including golf, dining out, movies, vacations, barbecues and breakfasts featuring banana pecan waffles. He and Suzanne took time of their own to travel around the world and golf, with him recording seven holes-in-one and her three over the years. The Ghannams lived in East Lansing for many years. They held an auction of their household goods in May 1997 and moved to Haines City, FL. Sadly, Suzanne passed away at Spring Lake, MI on Aug. 27, 2012. Her memorial service was held at Spring Lake Country club, officiated by Rev. Fr. Daniel DePew. In an obituary in the Journal, the family requested that any memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society. Rasem outlived his bride by six years. He surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 86 on Oct. 30, 2018. The headcount of his survivors was seven grandchildren. His children wrote a lengthy and loving eulogy published in his obituary in the Journal, saying in part:

We saw it through the years and learned from his genuine loving example of why family is so important, and that love is unconditional. We truly were blessed to have such a loving dad for all these years. We will always remember dad's vitality, work ethic, enthusiasm, and generosity. Our dad spent a lot of time with us both individually and as a family. In truth, words can never fully explain what an awesome father, friend and priceless counselor Ross Ghannam was; he sincerely wanted all of us to have good lives and we greatly loved him for his unwavering dedication to us; we all felt equally loved and he was always there when we needed him. Strong when we needed strong, compassionate when we needed a tender embrace. We, his children, are at an irreplaceable loss with the death of our dad, and so he will be dearly missed; yet the fruits of our dad's life live on, and they reveal his enduring and genuine dedication to the family he so well nurtured, raised and loved but also to the many friends and patients he had throughout his long life. This same enduring love will continue to live on in the memories of all who truly knew our beloved dad... 

  • Grandson William Ross Ghannam is a 1985 graduate of Michigan State University. He initially made contact with the founder of this website in February 2002. William is the father of Honor Suzanne Ghannam, born in 2012. Both father and daughter are dual citizens of the United States and Australia.
  • Granddaughter Julie Kay Ghannam (1961-2009) was born on Feb. 25, 1961 in Ann Arbor, MI. Circa 1986, she wed Gerald Price "Jerry" Rill ( ? - ? ), son of Gerald and Carolyn Rill Sr. of Pontiac. Together, they produced a brood of three -- Jaron Michael Rill, Janae Suzanne Rill and Jacob Tyler Rill. They made a home in the 1980s and early 1990s in Lansing. Julie avidly followed the fortunes of the University of Michigan sports teams and Detroit Red Wings hockey club. Sadly, at the age of 48, she was gathered away by the heavenly host on Oct. 27, 2009. Her memorial service was conducted by Rev. Rae Franke. The Lansing State Journal published an obituary. The family asked that memorial gifts be directed to the Capital Area Humane Society or the Children's Christian Fund.

    Great-grandchild Jaron Michael Rill (1988- ? ) was born in 1988. The Lansing State Journal announced his birth.

    Great-granddaughter Janae Suzanne Rill (1991- ? ) was born in 1991. Her birth was made public in the Lansing State Journal.

    Great-grandson Jacob Tyler Rill (1995- ? ) was born in 1995 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. News of his birth was announced in the Lansing State Journal.

  • Granddaughter Linda Sue Ghannam was joined in wedlock with Robert Lake. Their son is Tyler Ross Lake.
  • Grandson Brian David Ghannam ( ? - ? )

Son Dr. David Snyder ( ? - ? ) was in New Jersey in the 1970s.


Copyright 2001-2002, 2006, 2011, 2022, 2024 Mark A. Miner