CASA GRANDE — David Snider, a longtime public official and civic leader, died early Friday, January 22, after emergency surgery for a heart ailment.
According to his partner, Merrilyn Ridgeway, Snider died from an aortic dissection after surgery on Friday at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.
Snider was serving as president of the Casa Grande Elementary School District’s Governing Board and also as a commissioner for the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
Snider was first elected to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors in November 2004 and served two terms, leaving office at the end of 2012. Prior to his election, Snider worked for the city of Casa Grande for 26 years as library director as well as being interim and acting city manager on occasion. He was an elected member of the Casa Grande Elementary School District Governing Board from 1993 until 2004 and served as its president for seven of those years, and was again elected to the board in November 2014.
Snider also was a member of the Latino Familia Initiative since 2004 and served as a board member for LFI. He also served as a member and vice chair of the state Groundwater Users Advisory Council for the Pinal Active Management Area.
He also chaired the Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority and served as secretary on the Board of Directors of Against Abuse Inc. He was a member of the Arizona Town Hall Research Committee and the Local Drought Impact Group (drought preparedness) for Pinal County.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and earned his Master of Science in library science degree from Wayne State University.
Snider accepted the city’s library director position in 1977 and began a 26-year career managing the department in Casa Grande.
According to a 2016 Casa Grande Dispatch article, Snider said that his proudest achievement was transferring the main library branch to its present location on Drylake Street.
“Mr. Snider served our CGESD community for over 20 years as a Board member during 2 separate stints. He was a strong supporter of quality education, and was an advocate for teachers and support-staff alike. Over the course of his term on the Board, he served as President for 8 years,” Superintendent JoEtta Gonzales shared.
“David Snider was a dear friend to so many throughout our area. He had an uncanny ability to connect, and an endless capacity for love,” Gonzales said. “As a former librarian, he shared his passion for literature, vocabulary, and the arts with many of us.”
According to a statement from Gonzales, his impact will be felt for generations to come.
“These are tough times for many. In the days ahead, let us be strengthened by kindness and laughter,” Gonzales said. “David Snider would have wanted it that way.
According to the 2016 article, Snider said he always felt the call of serving the public sector.
“David Snider was a friend, a community leader and most of all a true community servant,” Mayor Craig McFarland said. “I am personally shocked and saddened to hear of his passing, he will be deeply missed!”
“David served the organization as the Library Director for several decades. He wore additional hats during his tenure, with the most prominent being an authority on water resource issues,” City Manager Larry Rains said.
“David was always a strong advocate for our City and Community,” Rains said. “We will all mourn the loss of a very community minded friend, colleague and leader.”