Dianne Bullis Snyder

Diane SnyderNothing was handed to Dianne Bullis Snyder; she made things happen. She worked her way through college, waiting on tables, planning on a career teaching disabled children. When she ran out of money a few credits short of a degree, she became a flight attendant instead. She was raising her children, Leland and Blakeslee, while flying coast to coast two weeks a month — and while her husband, John Snyder, worked a job that rarely brought him home for dinner. Leaving for a trip, she would post life lessons on her children’s doors. “Don’t wait for tragedy, say it today,” one of them read. “I love you and I’m glad you’re alive.” She made quilts, taught herself French, timed the cookies to come out of the oven as the children arrived home from school. She was the glue in a network of 50 first cousins. In 1999, to reduce John’s commute, the family moved to Westport, Mass., from Connecticut. Dianne began flying out of Boston and thinking about finally getting her degree and teaching. She died on American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11, 2001, at age 42. “Things were settling out,” John Snyder said. “It just seemed like we were turning that corner. She would have gone back to school.”

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