Cynthia Steinbreder

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  • "Dear Steinbreder's With a heavy heart and sympathy, I send..."
  • "I will miss Cynnie so very much!! An amazing woman who was..."
    - Brooke Fairman
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    - Bonnee and Bob Larsen
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Steinbreder, Cynthia
Cynthia Means Steinbreder passed away peacefully March 4th at her home in Sonoma, California. She was 84 years old.
Born in El Paso, Texas on December 15, 1930, she was raised on the Y6 ranch in the Davis Mountains just outside the town of Valentine. Called Cynthia Ann in her youth, she quickly learned how to ride cow ponies and round up herds of Herefords. She also became a pretty fair shot and bagged more than a few mule deer and pronghorn antelope. She spent most of World War II helping her father, Cole Alfred Means, run the Y6 while her brothers Alf and Craige fought for the U.S. Army in Europe, her mother Ruby Louise Bean homeschooling her when she wasn't out fixing fences or putting out feed.
Cynthia later graduated from the Radford School for Girls in El Paso and then studied at Texas Western University and the University of Texas, earning a B.A. in Drama. Soon after, she married the love of her life, a St. Louis native named Sandy Steinbreder, who she had met when he was stationed as a U.S. Army First Lieutenant at Fort Bliss in El Paso.
After Sandy took a sales job at Time Incorporated and moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, she cheerfully took on the role as homemaker, corporate wife and, in time, mother. Nothing made Cynthia happier than spending time with or taking care of her family, whether organizing business dinners for Sandy, engaging in spirited games of tennis with him and their kids or helping out with homework. Cynthia instilled a love of sports and competition in her offspring, and she delighted in going to their games and matches and rooting them on.
While family invariably came first to Cynthia, she possessed a number of other passions. She carefully nurtured sumptuous plots of vegetables and flowers in her yard at Mine Hill Road in Fairfield each growing season and became deeply involved in the Fairfield Garden Club, serving for a time as its president. She worked tirelessly for the Connecticut Audubon Society and helped put on its annual Christmas gala for many years. A voracious reader, she loved talking about the great books she read and was a proud member of the English Literary Club of Greater Bridgeport, one of the oldest book clubs in America. Cynthia was a brilliant crossword puzzle solver, and she also loved to cook, for family or friends. Her dinner parties were legendary, as much for the smart conversation that flowed around the table as for the food and drink. She cherished trips to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to hunt ducks and loved playing paddle tennis. Never one for really cold weather, Cynthia tolerated skiing for a number of years but happily gave up the sport when her youngest child entered high school. She relished a bracing tumbler of Jack Daniels and always fancied a hearty laugh.
Cynthia was predeceased by her brother Craige, who was killed in World War II, her husband Sandy, who passed away in 1985 and her brother Alf, a West Texas cowboy to the core who died four years ago, at the age of 92.
Survivors include Cynthia's children, John Steinbreder of Redding, Connecticut; Sissy Luciani of Dunwoody, Georgia; Gillett Brescia of Sonoma, California; and Sarah Steinbreder of San Francisco. Also mourning her loss are her daughter-in-law Cynthia Crolius; her sons-in-law Michael Luciani and Bruce Brescia; and her grandchildren Exa Steinbreder, Tyler and Drew Luciani and Lydia Cross. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church in Southport, CT on Saturday April 25th, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Bloys Camp Meeting Association, care of Maxie Watts, 125 Bluebriar Lane, Buchanan Dam, TX, 78609.Alternatively, donations may be given to the Alzheimer's Fund, via 800-272-3900, or visit her tribute page at
Published in Fairfield Citizen from Mar. 10 to Mar. 13, 2015
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