Folsom Funeral Service

Schnapp, John

John B. Schnapp


John Schnapp, longtime resident of Beacon Hill and Acworth, NH, passed away peacefully on September 2nd at the age of 91.

Born in the South Bronx to first generation immigrant parents who had never been east of Rockaway, north of the Catskills, south of Washington or west of Cleveland, he significantly expanded those boundaries in a career that took him to 20 countries on 4 continents.

John was the first member of his family ever to graduate high school and also attained an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh, a masters in economics from the University of Rochester and attended the Harvard University Advanced Management Program. He also served as a Marine Corps tank platoon commander in Quantico, Virginia. Two great enthusiasms marked his high school and university careers: a passion for track and field, and a passion for editorial writing and reporting. In the first case, he was a self-described “dedicated but untalented track athlete” winning only one hurdles race (against Slippery Rock State Teachers College) during five years of active participation in competitions; in the second, he went from contributing to and editing University of Pittsburg student publications to, later in life, writing for some of nation’s leading newspapers (see below).

John’s professional career included 13 years at Eastman Kodak, six spent at Kodak’s Rochester headquarters and seven at its Mexico City subsidiary working in advertising. Perhaps the highlight of his early Kodak years was his central involvement in the writing and production of several of the 1960’s editions of How to Make Good Pictures: perhaps the best-selling how-to book in the history of photography. The editions in question include many photo sequences of family life shot by John himself. After leaving Kodak, John served as a partner at management consulting firms Harbridge House and Temple Barker & Sloane (later acquired by Mercer Management Consulting) where he specialized in the automobile sector. There he proved instrumental in bringing Hyundai Motors to the North American market and in planning for the Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant, the first Japanese auto manufacturing facility built in the Southeast. By the end of his career as a management consultant, John’s clients included fully 17 of world’s 20 largest vehicle manufacturers as well as leading parts makers such as Bendix and Federal Mogul.

After retiring, John established himself as a well-respected columnist on auto industry issues, contributing frequently to the editorial pages of the Detroit News and Wall Street Journal. Retirement also allowed him to dive enthusiastically into his role as a grandparent and he took his grandchildren on memorable adventures throughout their early lives. He felt that grandfathering was the best job in creation and his grandchildren were the beneficiaries of that conviction.

A lifelong pet enthusiast, John also played a role in raising many a naughty puppy who gave rise to colorful family memories. His pets especially appreciated his penchant for feeding them waffles, allowing them to lick plates clean as soon as they left the dinner table, and warmly tolerating misbehavior.

John will be greatly missed by his wife Rebecca Boyter, children Jeffrey, Scott, and Tom Schnapp, daughters in law Heidi Almy and Maria Gough, grandchildren Ben and Alison Schnapp and Alexander Gough Schnapp and Gianriccardo Poli Schnapp, Gianriccardo’s mother Anna Poli, great grandchildren Holden and Adelaide Schnapp, first wife Betty Jean Robbins, sister in law Margo Chipman, brothers-in-law Hugh Boyter of Tallahassee, Florida, Tom Boyter of Columbus, Georgia, Bryan Hendrix and sister-in-law Lisa Boyter Hendrix of Atlanta, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

Due to COVID 19 a celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date.

Guestbook Entries

  1. September 6th, 2020 | 11:35 am

    So sorry to read of John’s passing. We have many fond memories of John and you from your Harbridge House days. Take care.
    Ernie and Lillian Glickman

  2. Carroll Paula
    September 6th, 2020 | 1:12 pm

    Rest In Peace, John. My sympathy to Rebecca and John’s extended family.

  3. Bob Bargar
    September 6th, 2020 | 11:56 pm

    Ellie and I are so sorry for your loss, Scott. May his loving memory be a blessing.

  4. Lorraine Goldstein
    September 7th, 2020 | 10:13 am

    Dear Rebecca,
    My sincere sympathy to you and all of your family. John was a true gentleman and a pleasure to know and work with. He was one of the people who made Harbridge House so special, as were you.
    Lorraine Goldstein

  5. Frank Jenkins
    September 7th, 2020 | 10:35 am

    John was a remarkable and very talented partner of ours at Harbridge House. And a wonderful human being. Our thoughts are with Rebecca and his extended family. Frank and Beth Jenkins

  6. September 7th, 2020 | 3:33 pm

    Dear Rebecca,
    Please know that I am thinking of you at this difficult time. I remember John as a true gentleman and enjoyed working with him as well as you at Harbridge House. John was one of the many people who made HH a wonderful place to work.
    Lorraine Goldstein

  7. Jeff Coburn
    September 7th, 2020 | 8:45 pm

    Dear Rebecca — I’m so sorry to hear of John’s passing. John was a mentor and role model for my 30-year career in management consulting. He hired me in 1968 fresh out of HBS and assigned me to the Latin America Group, which pleased me as I had spent many years living and studying in Latin America while growing up. John and I worked together on numerous engagements involving both management development and strategy consultation in a wide range of engagements and countries including Chile, Brazil, Jamaica, Guyana, and The Organization of American States — an engagement that took me literally around the world. John was both a mentor and a teacher … in my case helping me learn how to write as he wrote: clearly, logically, factually, and convincingly. For several years John and I and our spouses rented ski houses in Randolph Center VT … and oh, how I wish I could ski half as well as he did! Please extend my condolences to Jeff, Scott, and Tom.

  8. Bob and Lou Giordano
    September 8th, 2020 | 9:54 pm

    Rebecca –
    Bob and I are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was a very special man. His kind, thoughtful manner helped make Harbridge House a wonderful place to work.
    Our thoughts are with you and your family.
    Lou and Bob Giordano

  9. Melissa Caust-Ellenbogen
    September 10th, 2020 | 9:54 am

    John was a wonderful supervisor, teacher and advocate for me in my early career. It was a privilege to know him. May his memory be for a blessing. Melissa Caust-Ellenbogen

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service