Former state Sen. Sid Snyder dies

Long Beach resident represented Southwest Washington

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photoSid Snyder

OLYMPIA (AP) — Former Senate Majority Leader Sid Snyder died Sunday at his home in Long Beach. He was 86.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Snyder, a Democrat, was "legendary for getting things done and for his never-failing courtesy and civility."

Snyder started work in Olympia in 1949 as an elevator operator at the Capitol and later moved on to become bill room supervisor. He was assistant chief clerk of the House for 12 years and spent 19 years as secretary of the Senate.

In 1990, Snyder was appointed to a Senate seat after the death of another senator, and that fall was elected to seat in a special election. In 1995, Snyder was elected as the Senate Democrats' leader, and he stayed in that position for seven years, including five as majority leader. He retired from the Legislature in 2002 and returned to work at his two grocery stores, Sid's Market and the Midtown Market, in Long Beach.

In July 2006, the road leading onto the Capitol campus was renamed "Sid Snyder Avenue."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said that Snyder was "kind and gracious, and because he had the respect of everyone that knew him, he was able to bring people together to solve problems for the people of our state."

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bette Kennedy Snyder, three children and four grandchildren. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Carl P. Aase Gymnasium at Ilwaco High School in Ilwaco.