Edward Snyder Hertzler, 67

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 9:00am
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Edward Snyder Hertzler, 67, born on Jan. 2, 1949 to James and Mary Hertzler in Carlisle, Penn., passed away on Aug. 1, 2016 at his home on Block Island, R.I. 

He is survived by his wife of 40 years Jan McKillip Hertzler of Block Island; children Michael Hertzler and wife Teah; Alisa Closs and husband Patrick; Gwendolyn Rodgers and husband Andrew; six grandchildren, Alex Closs, Allison Closs, Dylan Rodgers, Cheyne Rodgers, Emma Hertzler and Erin Hertzler; older brother James Hertzler, and younger sister Janie Hertzler Sutton.

He graduated from Carlisle High School, went to college and enlisted in the United States Army and served in Vietnam as an intelligence analyst where he earned the following decorations: National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter, Vietnam Service Medal with Three Bronze Service Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, two O/S bars and a Bronze Star for Valor.

Lasting childhood memories included summer fishing with his grandmother, Grace Snyder Rich in Woolwich, Penn., working at his family’s motel, The Sharon, and embracing the wide world of music around him and sharing with all who would listen. Visiting the beach, in particular, is where his love for the calming wonders of the ocean was born.

This was cemented with his first visit to Block Island in the late 1970s while vacationing, and on to 1992 when he opened Jan Mckillip Designs with his wife. His home and shop on Spring Street on Block Island became known for its garden, glass bottle walkways and sea glass step stones that lead to the Lightburne Cottage, all of which he took tremendous pride in.

Over the last 25 years, Block Island truly embraced him and he loved being part of the Block Island community, whether it was talking with vacationers about the flowers he was watering, meeting with his fellow vets at the local VFW Post 36 where he was an active member, or working with others battling with their own spiritual and physical demons, as well as his own, which he never shied away from. He opened his heart to everyone on the island and they took him into their island family. Seeing his grandchildren learning to walk, talk, laugh, sing, surf, play the violin, strum the guitar, graduate high school gave him so much pride beyond what words can describe. 

Fully describing the tremendous life he led, and the impact he had on those around him over the last 67 years, is not possible in the space of this writing. Please join us to celebrate the life of Edward Snyder Hertzler with your thoughts and stories at the Harbor Church on Block Island on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 12 p.m. followed by a memorial service with full military honors at the island cemetery at 1 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Block Island American Legion Post 36 or the Block Island Medical Center.