Marian Snyder Danforth passed away on May 4, 2017 after living a rich and rewarding life of 96 years. She was playing Bridge only four days before she died! Marian Snyder was the first girl born at the new Snoqualmie Falls Hospital, on December 2, 1920. Her parents were Harry Allen and Isabelle Gardiner Snyder. Harry Snyder built the (former Buick) garage on the main intersection of North Bend, and Isabelle Gardiner was the youngest daughter of the homesteaders William Timbs and Louisa Downing Gardiner. Marian grew up in North Bend, graduating from North Bend High School in 1938. She graduated from Washington State University with a BS and a Teaching Certification in 1942. She was a lifelong member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.
On her first teaching job, in Clarkston, Washington, she was bored and decided to learn to fly. She earned her private pilot’s license and was working toward a commercial license when she moved to Seattle to teach. A story she liked to tell was about her embarrassment when, as a brand new teacher, the other PE teachers joined her high school class to learn how to teach dance, which was a specialty of hers since she had planned on being a ballet dancer before she grew too tall. She was also an accomplished pianist. Throughout her children’s early years, when frustrated she would sit down and roll out “Deep Purple” by Peter de Rose.
In Seattle, she volunteered at the USO on Capitol Hill and met Lt. Carroll Danforth, who was en route to the South Pacific. After a whirlwind six week courtship (he was an excellent dancer, tall, kind, funny and well educated), they married in 1944 and he shipped out, ending up in the South Pacific for well over two years! Upon his return, they partnered with Marian’s parents and built the Sunset Motel in North Bend, which was a charter member of the Best Western Chain. Marian managed the motel, Carroll taught at Snoqualmie Elementary, and together they raised three children.
Marian was an original member of the North Bend Orthopedic Auxiliary (later the Jane Tennant Auxiliary), a Camp Fire leader, an avid skier into her 70s, a golfer (until 91!), and a devoted reader and bridge player. She organized and ran the Encompass Bridge Fund round-robin benefit tournament for many years, donating over $1,000 each year (this will be carried on by her daughter, Jane).
After selling the Sunset Motel and Carroll retiring, the couple traveled to every state, through Canada, Europe and Australia. Their travels took them often to Australia, where daughter Wendy lived.
Marian was preceded in death by her son Carroll Rhodes (Rod) Danforth, Jr., in 1990, her daughter Wendy Abbott Danforth, in 2006, and her husband Carroll, in 2010. Carroll and Marian were married for 66 years! Marian is survived by her daughter Jane Danforth Koser, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jane’s children are Henry Roland Koser, married to Darcy Bentler Koser, with son Tavin; Myles Danforth Koser, engaged to Emma Wright; and George Rhodes Koser. Wendy’s daughters are Isabelle Danforth-Smith, married to Stevie Lawrence, with daughter Frankie; and Louisa Danforth-Smith. All will miss her love, stories, and advice.
A graveside memorial will be held at the North Bend Cemetery in late August. Remembrances may be sent to the Encompass Bridge Fund or the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum.