Nov. 10, 1915 — Sept. 6, 2013
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Phyllis Rupley Snyder, 97, 1994 El Dorado Rose and the matriarch of an El Dorado County pioneer family died in Placerville on Sept. 6, 2013, after a brief illness. Born in Placerville to Charles and Clara Jerrett Rupley on Nov. 10, 1915, she was the oldest living alumni of El Dorado High School. Her father was the first Buick dealer (1914) and first Chevrolet dealer (1920) in Placerville. After high school, she attended the University of California, Berkeley, as a business major. During the 1940s, she was a pilot and a member of the Civil Air Patrol and the Sacramento Ninety Niners. She spent many years working in law enforcement for the California Highway Patrol and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s office. She retired as the executive assistant to El Dorado County Sheriff Dick Pacileo.
Phyllis lived a full and active life, involved in many community activities. In her youth, she was a national officer in the Rainbow Girls. She was subsequently a member of Eastern Star for more than 75 years, and served as the Worthy Matron of Eastern Star chapter in Truckee, Calif. In 1994 she was selected as El Dorado County’s “El Dorado Rose,” and remained active in that organization until her death. She was also a member of the Shakespeare Club, the El Dorado County Historical Society, the Pleasant Valley Grange, the Newcomers Club, the Chamber Ambassadors, the Red Hat Ladies, the Friends of Goldbug Park and the Friends of the Cary House.
Phyllis was renown for her knowledge of El Dorado County history. At age 95, one month before a stroke, she gave a speech before a local service club about El Dorado County history and received a standing ovation. It was one of dozens of speeches she gave over the years on many topics of local history and the Gold Rush. She loved serving for many years as a docent for the Fountain & Tallman Museum, welcoming visitors to El Dorado County. She appeared many times on television and radio shows about El Dorado County history, including two appearances with Huell Houser. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Historical Preservation Award from the El Dorado Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Francis Henry Snyder; her son, Walter Elliott Trainor; her stepson, Gary Francis Snyder; and her five siblings, Jerry, Tort, Bill, Marilynn and Jack. She is survived by her daughter, Sandra Lynn Patheal (William); her son, Charles William Trainor (Paulette); her daughter-in-law, Diane Trainor of Graeagle; eight grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held on Friday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m., at the Chapel of the Pines, 2855 Cold Springs Road in Placerville, with a reception following at the Sequoia, 643 Bee Street in Placerville. Contributions can be made in Phyllis’ name to El Dorado County Historical Society, 524 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667.