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Janet Barmak Snyder

November 26, 2020


Janet L. Barmak Snyder, devoted schoolteacher, lover of music and the arts, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed away peacefully in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1927, Janet was the dedicated daughter of Bess and Leonard Barmak (z”l) and sister to three siblings, (z”l), Teddy, Irving, and Sidney Barmak, also of Pittsburgh. As a young girl, she was overjoyed that her father gave her special permission to study dance on Shabbat. She excelled as a gifted ballerina, studying pointe technique, and she carried on a love of dance throughout her life.

Janet received her bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University and her Master of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Janet was introduced to Ed Snyder, a handsome young man from Uniontown with kind aquamarine eyes, and he stole her heart. They were married in 1954 and built a beautiful life together with their two children, Carol and Ken.

Janet proudly taught Language Arts in the Pittsburgh Public schools for 35 years, setting high standards for all of her students and going the extra mile to ensure that each student reached their full potential. She revered her teaching years and continued to receive notes of appreciation from her many successful graduates. She was always excited to run into and reconnect with former students in Pittsburgh and South Florida throughout the last twenty-five years. They couldn’t wait to thank “Mrs. Snyder” for all she helped them to achieve.

Janet served as Vice President of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association and was an avid Pitt basketball fan, traveling with Ed and the team to the Sun Belt to cheer them on. She was a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh and was honored to be an active member of the Sisterhood. Janet was also a gifted visual artist, a hobby that she developed in her early years and kept up for most of her life. She created inspiring oil paintings.

Her retirement in South Florida was filled with interior decorating, swimming, sunshine, golf, new friends, volunteering for many good causes, and welcoming her family to South Florida for family vacations and bonding. Janet loved nothing more in the world than spending quality time with her grandchildren, who affectionately called her “Mamie.”

Mamie always lit up the room with her beauty, high spirit, and infectious smile. She was the epitome of style, grace, class, and elegance. She never left the house without being sharply dressed, with coiffed hair and fully made up, always ready to impress. Janet never missed a Friday night Shabbat service, either in person or lately on Zoom. Her love of Judaism will be carried on by her family. She helped to teach the ongoing

Yiddish class at their new residence for the last two years, explaining that Yiddish was the “tongue of her childhood.”

Janet is survived by her loving and devoted husband of sixty-six years, Edward Snyder. Her memory will always be a blessing to her adoring daughter, Carol Niren (Neil Niren, MD) and devoted son, Kenneth B. Snyder (Lisa Snyder), along with her six grandchildren, who were the loves of her life: Cantor Leslie Niren, Lisa Niren, Ilana Snyder Gershon (Ori Gershon), Daniel Snyder, Andrew Snyder, and Michael Snyder. Janet is also survived by one adorable great-grandson, Liam Gershon.


A private service was held on November 19, 2020, at Westview Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Memorial Contributions

To honor Janet’s life, contributions may be made to any of the following synagogues she cared for so deeply:

Temple Beth El in Boca Raton    www.tbeboca.org

Temple Emanu-El in Dallas   www.tedallas.org

Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh   www.rodefshalom.org 

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