Obituary of Sandra (Sam) Stern
December 14, 2017
Sandra (Sam) Stern passed away December 7, 2017.
There will be a memorial services from 1 to 5 p.m., on January 6, 2018 at Unity in the Gold Country, 180 Cambridge Ct. Grass Valley CA 95945.
Sam was a courageous, vibrant, compassionate woman who inspired all who met her, from her devoted family, to her colleagues, baristas and nurses. Raised in West Covina, Calif., she spent summers at her parents, Myra and Bert Stern's magical Jewish Camp Scotmar, riding horses like the wind, making friends for a lifetime. After U.C. Irvine and Hastings Law School, she prosecuted white collar crime and tax fraud as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, honored by Janet Reno. She then quit, traveled two years solo in India and Nepal, studying Vipassana meditation and Buddhism. When she returned, she practiced law part-time and volunteered at Zen Hospice in San Francisco, Big Sisters mentoring foster adolescents, and served on the board of an advocacy for elders nonprofit. She studied Dharma with Ruth Denison, graduated from the Community Dharma Leader Program, loved to teach meditation to seniors in nursing homes.
After moving to Nevada City Cohousing with her adoring husband, Jeffrey Gottesman, she hosted children from an orphanage in Bogota, Colombia, fell in love with 9 year old Jenny and adopted her. Before the adoption finalized, Sam was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, but decided to choose hope over fear and went ahead and adopted Jenny, who became the light of her life for the six years until she surrendered to cancer.
Sam is survived by Jeffrey and Jenny; five deeply beloved brothers and sisters, Scott, Marla, Livi , Nathan, and Rachel Stern. All who knew her, albeit saddened by her early passing, are filled with gratitude.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.