The first director of the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council and a long-time area community and civic leader has died.
Sara Lu P. Snyder, 82, died at LewisGale Hospital-Alleghany, Low Moor, Virginia, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.
She was born in Richmond, Sept. 1, 1938, the daughter of Robert L. and Gerda Burch Persinger.
Her father served in the U.S. Army in France in World War I, and her mother had been a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse in West Virginia.
Her father started a certified public accounting firm in Covington in the 1920’s.
After graduation from Covington High School in 1955, Mrs. Snyder received a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. and a master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Virginia.
Mrs. Snyder is survived by her husband of 58 years, James D. Snyder.
They have two sons and daughters-in-law, R. Meade Snyder (Cathy) of Bath County and Lee J. Snyder (Una) of Marietta, Ga., who have two daughters, Sarah Snyder and Megan Snyder also of Marietta, Ga.
Sara Lu Snyder became a board member of the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council in 1965.
She served as its president from 1978-1988 and became the first executive director in the 1970’s.
Her tenure with the Arts Council initiated the education of board members in workshops and seminars, the Corporate Co-Sponsor Program and the Young People’s Theater Series in our area schools.
Sara Lu also served for many years on the board of directors of Garth Newel Music Center and was one of the founders of Virginia Arts Presenters.
For her knowledge and participation in these organizations, she was appointed to numerous grant panels by the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
In recognition of her excellence in all these endeavors, she was awarded the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council’s Arts Legacy Award, was named an Outstanding Alumna of Covington High School and received DSLCC’s Medallion of Merit.
In addition to presenting the talents of others, Sara Lu was a talented organist and singer, a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church and a substitute organist and accompanist for area churches.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the following organizations, First Presbyterian Church, 185 N. Maple Avenue, Covington, Va. 24426; Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, P.O. Box 261, Covington, Va. 24426; and Garth Newel Music Center, P.O. Box 240, Warm Springs, Va. 24484.
A memorial service for Mrs. Snyder will be held in the near future.
Arrangements are being handled by Nicely Funeral Home.
To send condolences to the family online, please visit www.nicelyfuneralhome.com.