The woman who selected “Flyers” as the NHL team’s nickname died Saturday night.
Phyllis Snider Foreman, the sister of Flyers co-founder Ed Snider, passed away from cancer. She was 92 and died in Washington, exactly four years after her brother’s death.
“The fact she passed on the exact same day as my dad, I guess we see as some spiritual sign,” Lindy Snider, one of Ed’s daughters, said in a phone interview Sunday from her home in Monmouth, Maine. “She’s been battling cancer and was really fully functional until a day-and-a-half ago. We’d like to think that dad said, ‘We’re not going to let you suffer,’ and she very quietly passed in her sleep.”
Lindy Snider said her aunt and her dad were “so incredibly similar, very, very strong people. She was the only person who could just give my father hell and took no nonsense from him. After he passed, sometimes being with her or talking to her, felt like being with my dad. She was an incredible source of comfort to all of us after dad [died] and she was a great source of comfort to dad at the end, going out to California” to visit him when he was gravely ill.
In the summer of 1966, on the way home from seeing a Broadway show, Ed Snider and his wife, Myrna, and Phyllis Foreman and her husband, Earl, were among a group that stopped at a Howard Johnson’s to get something to eat. (Earl Foreman, who once owned part of the Eagles and assisted Snider in decisions made by the hockey team, died at 92 in 2017.)
The discussion at the New Jersey Turnpike rest stop turned toward naming the hockey team, whose first season would start in October of 1967.
“I was thinking of people skating and sliding around the ice,” Phyllis Foreman said in Full Spectrum by Jay Greenberg, “and Flyers just popped into my head. Everybody thought it was great.”
At the time, it was decided that it would be the club’s nickname, but that Phyllis couldn’t be the winner of a “name the team” contest that was about to launch.
The contest ran for 10 days and had more than 11,000 entries, including the Acmes, the Scars and Stripes, the Liberty Bells, and the Quakers. A 9-year-old boy from Narberth, Alec Stockard, who had submitted “Fliers” -- with an i -- was declared the winner of the contest, but the team used Phyllis’s spelling.
According to Full Spectrum, the Flyers’ logo and uniform design were commissioned to Mel Richman Inc., a Philadelphia advertising and graphic design firm. Sam Ciccone is the artist who drew the logo, though Lindy Snider said her aunt, who was an artist and painter, “came up with the concept of the P with the wing. She was very instrumental in all of that.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, another one of Ed Snider’s daughters, Sarena Snider, wrote: “April 11th, the day of rainbows and the day two of my guardian angels, my dad and his sister, Aunt Phyllis, left this earthly plane."
She called her aunt the family’s matriarch and described her as youthful, fun, down to earth, and real. “She was adorably no-nonsense and she loved her family.”
Lindy Snider said her aunt “loved life, loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and thrived on family. She was a magnet for the family; she never lost relevancy. She was a force to be reckoned with until the last minute, just like my dad.”
She had three boys, Ron, Scott, and the late Stuart; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending.