Obituary of Jean Castanien Snyder
On November 3rd, 2021, the community of Califon New Jersey lost one of its lifelong residents. Jean Castanien Snyder, 96, passed away comfortably at her home. Born Jean Yvonne to parents Gladys Van Dyke Farley and Preston J. Farley in Summit, NJ on July 27, 1925, she was raised at Hoffman’s Crossing on the bank of the south branch of the Raritan River. As a young girl, she attended the Bunnvale one room schoolhouse (currently the Bunnvale Library), which in 1930 had eight grades in one room. She would later have a long career in education that included 12 years at the Bethlehem Township School teaching first grade. After receiving her Master's Degree from Fairleigh Dickenson University, Jean worked for the North Hunterdon-Voorhees High School District as a Learning Disabilities/Teacher Consultant.
Jean considered herself fortunate to have loved and been loved by two doting husbands. After graduating from High Bridge High School at the age of sixteen, she would later fall in love with Lloyd Castanien, a shipmate of a friend. Newly engaged, Jean and Lloyd corresponded using a secret code during World War II.
Jean knew Lloyd’s general global where-abouts based on his greeting, i.e., “Jean Dearest” = Borneo or New Guinea.
In 1988, Lloyd preceded Jean in death too soon. Years later, she rekindled a friendship with her former classmate, Frank Lee Snyder, when they met again at their 50th high school reunion. The two married and enjoyed several years of international travel and time with friends in New Bern, North Carolina.
Jean was a clever, creative, talented individual. She had a sharp mind and wit to match. Anyone that knew her was aware of her ability to produce everything from whimsical holiday decorations and landscape paintings to elaborate quilts and creative writing. Her favorite pastime, however, was talking about her family. Her family misses her. They will be thinking of her this winter as red cardinals gather on the white snow of her porch, waiting for her to spread seed. After a family gathering in July of 2016, Jean wrote this Haiku:
“The visit was brief.
The day rolled by swiftly,
The family here
All together we chatted
Jean is survived by three children: Wendy Varga (son in-law Steve), L. Eric Castanien (daughter-in-law Kathleen), and Marc Castanien (daughter-in-law Sheila); five grandchildren: Erica Varga, Catherine Skwirut (husband John), James Castanien (wife Sara), Julie Parrott (husband Joseph), and Alex Castanien; step grand-children Stevie Varga, Rob Varga, Terry Rifley, and Susie Varga; great grandchildren Kya Eastman and Penelope Ann Skwirut; and step-great grandchildren Cierra Cain, Lindsie, Macie, and Justin Rifley.
Friends and relatives may gather with the family on Monday, November 8th, from 10:00am until 12:00pm at Martin Funeral Home, 1761 Route 31, Clinton NJ 08809. Interment will follow at Spruce Run Cemetery in Glen Gardner. For further information, please visit www.martinfh.com