Nathan J. Snyman, 33, a former resident of Tonasket and Oroville, entered into rest Sept. 28, 2012 in Spokane, Wash. Nathan was born on Feb. 22, 1979 in Tonasket, to Pamela and John Snyman. He was the sunshine of their lives, including his big sister, Traci. She doted on him and wanted to take care of him all the time; bathing, diapering and playing with him. Nathan also entertained the community in his early days being a great window dressing in his parent’s silver shop bouncing in his Johnny Jump Up.
Nathan’s mom noticed immediately he was an outdoorsy kind of guy, learning to swim at just a few months old, motorcycle being his first word and learning to ride a bicycle at just three-years-old.
Nathan spent many hours exploring the river in back of his home with his neighbors, John and Teresa Glover. John and Teresa, along with their parents Terry and Marie, were like a second family to him.
He attended the Oroville Preschool and started playing youth soccer not long after, which he did for many years and loved. He played many sports including basketball, baseball and football. He loved snow skiing in the winter and diving off the cliffs, floating the river and fishing in the summer with his buddies, Nick Mieirs, Matt Poff, Jimmy O’Hara, Shane McDougal, Daniel Impelmance, Logan Roberts and so many others.
He loved following his dad, Jewelry John, to his metal shop in town. He learned to fabricate the metals and properly operate all the machines used for fabricating many metal projects and learning to be a blacksmith. They spent many years together in the shop.
He hunted regularly with his bird dogs Sophie and Sam right at his side. Being outdoors was always a choice for Nate. He also loved music. His buddy, Reuben, gave him the nick-name “Nate Dogg” after a rapper they listened to. This became his name for all his buddies and many acquaintances from that day forward. Nate graduated high school from Oroville as one of the 13-year students in 1997.
He did an apprenticeship for Dan O’Hara right out of high school and was a quick study. Electrical work became his course of study as well his true passion and he followed up with attending ITT in Spokane. He worked in this field over the next 12 years.
He met Samantha in November 2000 and they immediately fell in love. She could tell right away that he had the biggest heart, would help anyone with anything, including giving the shirt off his back. He would often bring home “strays” that needed a place to stay for a night or maybe just a meal. Some would say he was “nice and generous to a fault.” He always wanted to please those around him; still constantly looking to his mom for advice, opinions and love. Samantha and Nate learned so much about love and loss in their ten years together.
He was not only an uncle to Chelsea and Zachary, but all his friend’s children as well. They all called him Uncle Nate. He also was the godfather of Nick and Shannon Mieirs’s daughter, Carly Marie. He loved to dote on them, bringing them small gifts or candy, rewarding them when they had good grades and calling them on the phone. He was loved by those he met and it was for a reason. When Nathan saw that you needed help, he was there. He was constant and he was kind. Not many people in our lives are the kind you can always count on. Nate was that guy and we love him for it. When times got tough and his dad was in need of help; he was their without question to take care of him. Nate rose to the challenge of caring for his loving mother and father in times of need.
Nathan held two sweet children in his heart in his last months and he will be greatly missed.
Nathan is survived by his mom, Pamela; dad, John; loving friend for over 12 years, Samantha; Aunt Patsy Fontenot, Uncle Keith and Aunt Maxine Sheel, Uncle Glenn and Aunt Judy Sheel; sister, Traci and brother-in-law Jon Neal; brother, Steven Snyman; niece, Chelsea Neal, nephew Zachary Neal; cousins: Pamela Fontenot, Bobby Fontenot, Kim and Marty Plank, Norma and Scott Rust, Harold and Nancy Sheel, Mike Sheel and various great nieces and nephews, and many other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents; his beloved Uncle Kay and two cousins.
Services for Nathan were held 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at the Oroville Grange Hall in Oroville. A potluck followed to share memories and a slide show of Nathan’s life.
A Memorial Fund has been established in Nathan’s name at North Cascades National Bank.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel and the Okanogan County Crematory of Okanogan are in care of the arrangements.