Gary Snyder Obituary, Death – When Gary Snyder, a longstanding restaurateur in Seattle, smiled at you, his family says it was as though the sun had broken through the clouds. He had a very outgoing personality. Simply put, he communicated with anyone. During a recent phone discussion, Snyder’s life partner, Sherwin Tolentino, commented that Snyder “made people feel seen and heard and he was genuinely interested in them.” Snyder is credited with being the person who “made people feel seen and heard.
” Gary Snyder’s older brother, Larry Snyder, remarked that his younger brother gave the impression that he was everyone’s best friend. Gary Snyder passed away on May 19 from lymphoma in the comfort of his own home. He was 57. He was a dynamic presence at Geraldine’s Counter, a bustling restaurant that he and his longtime business partner Stacey Hettinger opened in Columbia City in 2005 and which soon ascended to become a heart of the area.
He and Stacey Hettinger had been working together in the restaurant industry for many years. Because he would be chatting with customers and checking in with his “fans,” as Tolentino put it, he would be completely oblivious to the fact that there was a queue leading out the door. He was as well-liked as the French toast and biscuits and gravy that were served at so many different breakfast tables. One of those conversations with a customer even led Snyder and Tolentino to get their cherished puppy, Bailey, who they got as a result of their adoption. Snyder was considered by many to be the “unofficial mayor” of Columbia City since he was such a mainstay in the community of Columbia City and because Geraldine’s Counter was such a prominent establishment there.