Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.
Johnelle Foley Snyder

Johnelle Foley Snyder

July 11, 1949 - October 25, 2018     Age: 69

Johnelle Foley Snyder passed away on October 25, 2018, in Amelia Island, Florida.  She was born on July 11, 1949, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to her wonderful parents, John and Irma Foley.  She grew up in Edina, Minnesota and attended Our Lady of Grace Grade School and St. Margaret’s Academy High School.  Johnelle received her undergraduate degree from Barat College of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois and obtained her Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota.  In her graduate school class, Johnelle was one of three women to be the first women accepted into this program. Prior to this class, female students had been nuns affiliated with Catholic hospitals. 

Johnelle’s professional career included serving as Associate Administrator of University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics and as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of Public Teaching Hospitals. She authored several published articles on subjects involving teaching hospitals and served on a variety of Boards including The Women’s Health Leadership Trust, The Downtown Minneapolis (#9) Rotary Club, Norwest Bank-Central Ave, Lafayette Country Club, the Minneapolis Chapter of the MS Society, the Medical Alley Association, and the Alumni Association of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  Johnelle retired in 1995. In her leisure time Johnelle loved boating on Lake Minnetonka and downhill skiing anywhere in the world but especially in Vail, CO, where she “sabbaticaled” for a year following graduate school. Once introduced to golf she loved her family of friends at Edina Country Club. Johnelle also had a “fun career” doing runway modeling for many of the fine stores and boutiques in the Twin Cities.  In 1972, she represented Minnesota in the Miss USA World Pageant in Newport News, VA placing fourth.

Mrs. Snyder was first preceded in death by her husband Dennis A. Bowman Esq. in 1997.  In 2014, she lost her second loving husband, Gary L. Snyder. Gary and Johnelle met in a Grief Support Group having both lost their spouses to cancer. In 2004, Gary and Johnelle moved from Minneapolis to Amelia Island, Florida. Together they enjoyed their many friends on the island and became involved in such activities as The Golf Club of Amelia Island, The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach, St. Michael Catholic Church, The Amelia Island Museum of History, Micah’s Place and Amelia Residents in Support of the Symphony.  Their love of the performing arts prompted the Snyder’s to be actively involved in the funding for the construction of the new venue for the Amelia Community Theatre (ACT). Similarly, in Minneapolis, they were major donors contributing to the building of the world-renowned Guthrie Theatre. In 2012, Gary and Johnelle were instrumental in founding the Amelia Island Chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international gastronomic society first established in 1248 in Paris.  On January 27, 2018, Johnelle was awarded the Chaine Star of Excellence for distinguished service to the Bailliage of Amelia Island.  The Snyders loved each other deeply and adored doing everything together. Their special shared passion was travel and that passion took them literally everywhere in the world.  They knew they were blessed to have each other. They loved life, family and friends and truly cherished each day they had together.

Survivors include Johnelle’s sister Mary Lee Stephenson and her children, Colleen Upton, Kevin (Diane) Healy, and Michael Healy and their children, Aidan, Molly, Megan, Matthew, Jack and Sean, all of Minneapolis. She is also survived by step-daughter, Shelly (Tom) Halverson of Maple Grove, MN and their sons Andrew (Emily) of Minneapolis and Aaron of Plymouth, MN.

There will be a visitation from 5-7 pm at Oxley-Heard Funeral Home on Friday, November 9, 2018. 

Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 11:00 am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with lunch to follow.

Johnelle Foley Snyder will be entombed, next to Gary, in the Mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota following a service there. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Community Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.

11 Condolences

  • DEEDEE HIGGINS Posted October 26, 2018 7:40 pm


  • Don and Kate Wiest Posted October 26, 2018 8:29 pm

    She died as she lived – with grace and spirit – a roll model for all.

  • Claudia willette Posted October 26, 2018 8:51 pm

    She and Gary were wonderful people they will be missed

  • Dickie and Shelly Anderson Posted October 27, 2018 9:17 am

    A special, beautiful and talented woman who will be missed.

  • Fran Shea Posted October 27, 2018 5:20 pm

    A Special Beautiful Lady that lived with Grace,, Dignity, Courage and Love!

  • Viorica Wiliamson Posted October 28, 2018 8:11 am

    What an honor to meet such a great role model! Grateful and humbled! Heartbroken ??

  • Pamela Brown Posted October 28, 2018 10:30 am

    Johnelle’s life exemplifies that humans need grace, love and beauty. She will be missed by all who knew her.. May peace and comfort be with the family.

  • E. Rawson Griffin III MD Posted October 28, 2018 10:32 am

    It was an honor to know Johnelle. She lived her life on her terms with love and acceptance of everyone she knew. I never once saw her prejudge or judge anyone for anything, choosing instead to accept everyone with love and respect regardless where they came from or what their leanings or beliefs were. She is one of a few who practice what they preach. We need more people in the world like her. I will miss her.

  • Dave and Yvonne Moody Posted November 1, 2018 3:59 pm

    We were honored to have known Johnelle and Gary in Minneapolis and later on Amelia. They wet a wonderful couple and are united once again. Rest in peace dear friends.

  • Chrystal Opheim Posted November 12, 2018 10:40 am

    I feel blessed that I was given the chance to get to know Johnelle and Gary. They both will have a special place in my heart. Johnelle was a great example of someone who tried to live with a Christ like attitude. She was humble, graceful, kind and welcoming to all. Her service was beautiful and I’m thankful I was able to go and say goodbye.

  • Nicole Posted November 26, 2018 4:31 pm

    My husband, daughter and I feel honored to have called such a gracious woman friend; we will continue to be inspired by her and Gary’s legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

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