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Stephen Zamora


1944 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Stephen Zamora Obituary
Stephen Thomas Zamora
1944-2016
Stephen Thomas Zamora, 72, passed away suddenly in Mexico City, Mexico, on Friday, July 8, 2016. A longtime resident of Houston, Texas, at the time of his passing he was concluding a year living and reveling in the beauty of Mexico with his wife of almost 50 years, Lois Parkinson Zamora.
Born on June 26, 1944, to Adolph and Audrey (Barrett) Zamora, in Los Angeles, California, he was the second of seven children. Steve graduated from Servite High School in 1962, and earned a B.A. from Stanford University in 1966, where he met and married his best friend and love, Lois. Together, they joined the Peace Corps and spent two years working in Colombia, South America. In 1972, he earned a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), graduating first in his class. In 1973, together with their young children, Camille and Peter, they set off to Geneva, Switzerland, for a year while he served a Postgraduate Fellowship at the University Consortium for World Order Studies. Washington, D.C., was the next stop, where from 1974-1978 he practiced international law and served at the World Bank while Lois completed her PhD in Comparative Literature from Berkeley.
In 1978, they planted their roots in Houston, Texas, when Steve joined the University of Houston Law Center's faculty and Lois joined the English Department. There, Steve served as the Law Center's Dean from 1995 to 2000, and was the University of Houston's and the Law Center's first dean of Hispanic origin. He also directed the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, which is the first research center in any U.S. law school devoted to the independent, critical study of Mexican law and legal aspects of U.S. - Mexico relations. In 2006, he received the highest distinction awarded by the Mexican government to a foreign national, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, in recognition of his work in promoting U.S. - Mexican understanding. Though he retired in 2015, he continued to pursue his professional interests with great energy and passion.
Above all, Steve was the best daddy, the grandpa who inspires adoration, the husband who serenaded his wife, the brother who always wanted to play. He made fantastical pancakes for his grandkids in every conceivable shape, built sophisticated spaceships out of cardboard and tape, sang silly songs you can't get out of your head, and gave the kind of hugs where you felt the love in your bones. He believed in family, justice, kindness, love, and beauty. He loved spending time with his family, playing on the beach, all things Mexico, traveling throughout the world, his students, his Basque ancestry, a fine tequila, a beautiful song. Steve left nothing unsaid, in actions and word. He made time to have fun, and he brought more love into the world, more goodness.
He leaves a legacy of a life well lived. To say we will miss him is an understatement, but we will honor his memory by trying to live with the same kind of love and passion with which he lived.
He is survived by his widow, Lois Zamora; a daughter, Camille Zamora, and her husband Thomas Whayne; a son, Peter Zamora, and his wife Marcela; grandsons Landon and Nate; siblings Carol, Mary, Anita, John, Paula, and Tony; and many nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, in-laws, and friends.
Te queremos siempre y para siempre.
Memorial donations in memory of Stephen Zamora may be made to Sing for Hope, an organization founded by his daughter that brings music and arts programming to under-resourced schools and healthcare facilities, and the University of Houston Law Foundation.
Sing for Hope
575 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1812, New York, NY 10018
www.singforhope.org
University of Houston Law Foundation
Attn: Zamora Memorial
4604 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204
www.law.uh.edu/giving
Published in Houston Chronicle on July 17, 2016
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