Doris Emily Snyder passed away peacefully on February 24, 2023, at the age of 96. Doris was born to Olga E. and Walter Kleeman of Vernon, Illinois on June 29, 1926. She was the younger of two children, and was preceded in death by her loving parents and a dear brother, William “Bill”. Doris graduated from Vernon High School in 1943 and served as one of Vernon’s first telephone operators when the American Bell Telephone System was introduced in southern Illinois. In 1948 Doris married Wesley Dale Snyder in an outdoor September “Double Wedding Ceremony” alongside Tracy and Genevieve (Ward) Snyder in Vernon, Illinois. Doris was a loving and supportive farm wife and a caring and devoted mother to two children, a daughter, Donna and son, Dwight. Dale, her beloved husband of 39 years, preceded her into God’s presence on October 14, 1987.
On September 28, 2005, Doris married the second love of her life, John Tolka of Salem, Illinois and they have been blessed to share 17 years of mutual hobbies and interests in their twilight years. Together Doris and John enjoyed attending services at Fairman Baptist Church, gardening, canning, watching Wheel of Fortune, dancing at the Kinmundy and Patoka country dances and potlucks, and meeting family and friends for breakfast or lunch in town. They also enjoyed attending Indiana’s Covered Bridge Festivals, exploring flea markets, and taking the occasional trip to visit one of John’s army buddies. Together, but on their separate mowers, they enjoyed the task of mowing their large lawn. Doris especially loved driving her bright orange four-wheel drive Kuboto lawn mower, which she continued to do up until the age of 95!
Doris was a Christian and an active member of Fairman Baptist Church and over the years served in various capacities within the church: Treasurer, Girl’s Auxiliary leader, and numerous committee and project chair positions for the Southern Baptist Women’s Missionary Union. Doris’ personal interests, particularly in her more active years, included operating her farm, gardening, sewing, quilting, painting ceramics, collecting cook books, and making sweet dough, muffins, and cookies for family and friends.
Doris will long be remembered as a skilled and self-taught cake decorator. Early on she enjoyed making beautifully decorated cakes for her family and friends, but this hobby blossomed into much more. A short-notice cancellation left a neighboring soon-to-be bride without a cake. As a favor Doris designed, baked, and decorated her first wedding cake. Word spread and Doris began creating exquisite cakes for brides in Marion, Clinton, Fayette, and Jefferson Counties. She became well-known for her delicious decorated cookies and elaborate birthday, shower, and anniversary cakes. Doris eventually became a “Wilton Method Cake Decorating” instructor for the J.C. Penny Corporation in Centralia, which then led to her teaching classes in cake decorating for Kaskaskia College in Shattuc, Illinois. In March 1973, Doris was interviewed by Mary Ellen Broughton and featured in the Style Section of the March 11 edition of the Centralia Sentinel where she was celebrated for her skill and local celebrity as a “wedding cake artist”. Frequently, Doris would come in contact with “one of her brides” or a “bride’s mother” when she was shopping in town. Doris was always delighted beyond measure when she was recognized and remembered for having made their wedding cake. Doris’ last wedding cake project was made for her granddaughter, Aimee, when she decorated 25 individual cakes for the reception. Doris was 84.
Doris passed into eternal rest leaving behind her beloved family, husband John; daughter, Donna (Jack) Kelley of Castle Rock, Colorado; son, Dwight (Pamela) Snyder of Fairman, Illinois and grandchildren, Jessica (Daniel) Niepoetter of Salem, Illinois, and Aimee (Eric) Keller of Fairman, Illinois; three great-grandchildren, Rylie and Ria Niepoetter and Easton Keller. She also leaves behind her much-loved bonus family: Loretta (Mike) Williams of Salem, Monica Schaubert of Sandoval, Rick (Vicki) Tolka of Castle Rock, Colorado, and Cathy (Steve) Jalbert of Cape Coral, Florida. Grandchildren include Angie (Al) Kemner of Salem, Illinois, and Paul (Jordan) Williams of Houston, Texas, Jennifer (Curt) Back of Salem, Illinois; Tim (Ceci) Tolka of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Keri (Dustin) Phillips of Cape Coral, Florida, Kory (Carrie) Smith of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and seven beautiful great grandchildren. Finally, Doris leaves behind a much-loved nephew, Greg (Charlotte) Kleeman, of Centralia, Illinois; friend, Mary Howe, of Walnut Hill, Illinois; and her church family at Fairman Baptist Church.
Doris’ family wishes to extend special appreciation to Dr. Suresh for many years of outstanding medical care and also to Peggy Bass and Becky Jones for their loving and compassionate support as care givers.
Though Doris’ soul now resides in the presence of our Heavenly Father, she will be fondly remembered here as a devoted Christian, wife, mother, “Cake Lady”, and friend. Friends are welcome to celebrate her memory during the 11-1 p.m. visitation with funeral service to follow at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2023 at the Day Macz Funeral Home in Sandoval. Pastor Larry Miller will be officiating with interment to follow at the Vernon Cemetery.
Memorials to honor Doris’ memory may be made to Fairman Baptist Church or the Vernon Cemetery. Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
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