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Molly Brown Sestanovich

Molly Brown Sestanovich Resident of Moraga Molly Sestanovich, 92, of Moraga, CA, died peacefully at home on March 4, 2014, with family members at her bedside. Born Molly Brown November 30, 1921, in Denver, Colorado, she was the eldest child of Benjamin and Mary Brown. Having grown up in the Depression-era Midwest (much of her childhood was spent in Duluth, Minnesota), she was salutatorian of East Denver High School in Colorado in 1939 and earned a degree from Fairmont Junior College in Washington, D.C. Molly wrote ad copy at Young & Rubicam in New York and Hollywood during and after World War II, and in 1947 took a job in Korea, writing children's programs for the Korean Broadcasting Company. There she met her future husband, Stephen N. Sestanovich, himself a journalist in the American military occupation. They married in 1949, and began a two-decade career representing the United States abroad. Steve's diplomatic postings included Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Finland, and Venezuela. Together they saw the world, made friends everywhere, and raised three children. After Steve's retirement in 1970, Molly launched a second career from their new home in Moraga. A lucid writer, she produced a weekly column, "The League Speaks," for the League of Women Voters. It appeared for twenty years, and was carried by seven newspapers, including the Contra Costa Times. Molly, whose husband and children were the focus of her life and who called parenthood "the most exciting of all experiences," will be remembered by all for her sweet disposition and sly humor. A warm, lively spirit made her the linchpin of a devoted family, a center of social gatherings, and a spur to new activities. "Let's go dancing at the Claremont," was a favorite challenge to less energetic companions. To the end, Molly liked to ask, "What shall we do now?" She is survived by her husband; her sons, Steve and Ben; her daughters-in-law, Kathryn Lauritzen and Ann Hulbert; her son-in-law, Bill Sillavo; her five grandchildren, Zoe Sillavo Skognes and Jules, Ben, Nick, and Clare Sestanovich; and one great-grandchild, Blake Skognes. A daughter, Mary, died in 2000. A family memorial service is planned.

Published in Contra Costa Times on Mar. 8, 2014
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