Zelma was born on a farm near Dacoma, Oklahoma. She lived most of her life in the Dacoma and Waynoka communities. She graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University with a degree in education. In 1938, Zelma married Chester Kirk Snyder; they had two sons, Terry Lynn and Johnny Lee.

Zelma was a very loving and caring person. She touched the lives of a multitude of students and adults in a positive way during her long career of teaching. She was a very devoted Christian woman. She was most faithful in visiting nursing homes where she would read and have devotions with many on a weekly basis. Zelma was a very special lady who lived her life as a true Christian.

Zelma will be deeply missed by her family and friends.