I knew the day I met Jayne Snyder, she was a woman to be reckoned with.
I was sent to do a profile about this newcomer to Lincoln politics — this tall, blonde, athletic woman who wanted a seat on the Lincoln City Council in 2009. She showed me around her physical therapy offices on 70th Street — a business she’d built from the ground up to a successful venture and now she was looking for a way to serve her community publicly.
She was strong and smart and healthy — and in way better shape than I was, though I am many years her junior. She biked and jogged all over the place and had donated thousands of dollars and hours to improve the trails in the area and was working to improve the health of elementary students in some Lincoln schools.
It was clear this woman didn’t just talk, she took action. It’s not an easy thing to run for public office; not an easy thing to serve and take the shots that come with the job which never ends.
Even after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jayne soldiered on and kept working on the council. She put on a wig and went out there every week, rarely missing a meeting, and always was sure to let out one of her signature trademark laughs — which sounded a little like a hiccup. The last time she chaired the arena’s Joint Public Agency meeting, it was clear she was not feeling well, but she did it and she smiled and laughed and was a true public servant.
Jayne died this week at age 66.
Public servants take a lot of criticism, but they deserve our thanks for doing a job that requires a lot of selflessness and a huge donation of your very self. Thank you for that, Jayne.