Vera Maklary Sneff, 94, of State College, died Monday, November 30, 2020, at The Village at Penn State.
Born in 1926 in New York City, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Vera Váradi Maklary, originally from Hungary, and sister to János. Vera grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Encouraged by her mother, she took folk dancing and singing lessons and among her favorite childhood memories were singing on a radio program and dancing the csárdás at the Hungarian Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. She graduated from Washington Irving High School and Brooklyn College, where she met her future husband, Gene, in organic chemistry class. They married in 1949 in New York City and enjoyed spending their free time hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Together Vera and Gene raised six daughters. Vera was a loving wife and mother, and modeled the value of education and kindness for their growing family.
Their home was a welcoming and lively place whether in Sayville, New York; St. Albans and Rutland, Vermont; West Allenhurst, New Jersey; or State College, Pennsylvania. She filled the house with books, games, and art projects, and the family expanded to include many animals, among them dogs, cats, koi, and a macaw. Vera created beautiful needlework, and her daughters fondly remember her doing the New York Times crossword puzzle in pen, and working with her on challenging jigsaw puzzles (even one that was all white). A lifelong learner, she continued her education with courses in librarianship at C.W. Post on Long Island, New York, and was an early adopter of the personal computer. She had a great sense of humor and a knack for striking up friendly conversations with everyone she met. She enjoyed accompanying Gene to Penn State football games and brunch at the Corner Room, and her favorite meal was anything she didn't have to cook.
Although not a fan of the open water, Vera supported Gene's interest in sailing, and ultimately became an avid student of celestial navigation and ham radio, and hosted gatherings of the Bald Eagle Power Squadron at their home in State College. Vacations were often spent in New England, where the family hiked Mt. Washington from Pinkham Notch and explored the White Mountains, starting from the time the kids were very little and continuing through adult reunions there. Vera loved the music of the 30s and 40s, and her apartment at The Village in State College was always filled with music. She will be greatly missed.
She was predeceased by her husband, Eugene M. Sneff, M.D. She is survived by her six daughters: Wendy Robin Sneff of Alexandria, Virginia, Priscilla Sneff of State College, Gretchen Sneff and her husband, Joel Nanni, of Philadelphia, Tory Schulte and her husband, David, of Ashburn, Virginia, Heather Sneff of Topsham, Maine, and Andrea Hayes and her husband, George, of Colchester, Vermont; and her eight grandchildren: Jasper Sneff Nanni, Caitlin Sneff-Nuckles, Courtney, Delaney and Kendall Schulte, Lachlan Sneff, and Ava and Griffin Hayes.
The family will honor her privately. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.