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Obituary of Zoe Lee (Brown) Sternberg 

July 29, 1948–November 30, 2023


Zoe Lee (Brown) Sternberg, a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones on November 30, 2023, at the age of 75. Her Spirit on Earth will continue to live on through her loving husband, Terry; her daughter Zoe Lee Pinksa, her husband Jeff, and their children Mackenzie, Lindsay and Reese of Mill Valley, CA; and her son Jay Scott Sternberg, his wife Lizzie, and their children James and Beau of Larkspur, CA. She is also survived by her devoted sister Marcia Day. Mama Zoe leaves behind a legacy of joy and warmth.


Mama Zoe was born on July 29, 1948, to Everett Austin Brown and Martha Isabelle Wilson in Grand Rapids, MI, and raised in Belvedere, CA. After graduating from Redwood High School in 1966, Zoe went on to study journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she first met Terry. The two friends reunited in San Francisco following their years in Boulder, where they immediately started dating, fell in love, and married just nine months later on November 6, 1971.


Mama Zoe was a talented artist and studied art at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She continued to paint throughout her life, gifting us with many beautiful paintings we will cherish forever. She was an adored member of the Marin Garden Club, Marin Society of Artists, and spent countless hours with her fellow artists at her painting studio. In her teens and twenties, Zoe worked at the local gift store Marcors on The Boardwalk in Tiburon, assisting on buying trips and visual merchandising. She also spent many years as a program coordinator at Ross Recreation Department, coordinating classes and camps for youth and for the greater community.


Family was at the core of Mama Zoe’s life, never missing a family event unless she was off on a traveling adventure with her devoted husband Terry, to whom she was happily married for an incredible 52 years. Their enduring love and partnership were, and continue to be, an inspiration to all who knew them. When Mama Zoe (aka “Bozzie”) wasn’t spending time with her grandchildren, she would be on the tennis court, golf course, walking Stinson Beach or the trails of Marin, visiting with friends, heading to book club, garden club, or painting at her studio.


Mama Zoe delighted in chatting up everyone in her path, making friends wherever she went, be it the grocery store, Joe Wagner Little League field, or the bike path on her daily walks around Larkspur.


Zoe’s life was a testament to kindness, love, creativity, and an unwavering spirit, making every moment count. Her contagious smile and laughter brightened the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her. Zoe possessed an unmatched wit that brought joy and laughter to every gathering.


A celebration of life will be held on January 21, 2024, from 3 pm to 6 pm in Fairfax, CA. Family and friends are warmly invited to join us in remembering and celebrating the life of our vibrant and loving “Mama Zoe” Sternberg. May her memory continue to bring comfort and inspiration to all who were touched by her remarkable presence.


For details regarding Mama Zoe’s service, kindly email her daughter, Zoe Pinksa, at


In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you consider making a donation to honor Mama Zoe’s memory. Contributions can be made to By the Bay Health, the hospice home group that provided invaluable support to Mama Zoe and her family at the end of her life.


By the Bay Health:; 17 E. Sir Francis Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939, 415-526-5500; Tax ID#: 94-2890791.



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