Snider, Robert Leonard

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Robert Leonard Snider was born in Asheboro, North Carolina, on October 17, 1946, to Howard William Snider and Josephine Plagg Snider. He was raised in Denton, North Carolina, where his father’s family had lived for generations. Robert passed away at Roanoke Memorial Hospital on March 22, 2021.

Robert graduated from Denton High School in 1965 and from Virginia Tech in 1968 with honors in mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Miami in 1971. His area of research was algebraic ring theory. He was awarded a post-doctoral position from 1971 – 1974 at Northwestern University, where he worked with colleagues from Northwestern as well as the University of Chicago.

In 1974, Robert took a permanent position with the mathematics department at Virginia Tech, where he was hired as an associate professor with tenure. Within a few years he was promoted to the rank of full professor. In 1977 he was invited to take a yearlong sabbatical at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he worked with world class mathematicians and proved an important theorem in his area. In 1981 he was invited to take another yearlong sabbatical, this time at Cambridge University in England. He really enjoyed the opportunities provided by both of these sabbaticals. Robert retired from Virginia Tech in 2010 and was awarded emeritus status by the university.

Robert had many interests through his life. He enjoyed bird watching from an early age as well as fishing, hunting, gardening and horticulture. He enjoyed researching grafting on fruit trees and cross-pollination of plants. He was always interested in finding old varieties of apple trees throughout the area.

Robert is survived by his wife, Suzanne E. Verdu. They enjoyed many trips in both the United States and around the world. He is also survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Anna and David Lord, Laura Snider and John Steinbauer, and Tracy and Bret Wallace, as well as six grandchildren. Robert is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Charles Sawyer, and his niece Amanda Sawyer Holliday and her family.

To remember Robert, please consider a donation to NPR, PBS, or the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The Snider family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home in Radford.