VALENTINE - Cynthia Means

VALENTINE - Cynthia Means Steinbreder died March 4, 2015, at her home in Sonoma, California. She was 84. Born in El Paso on Dec. 15, 1930, she was raised on the Y6 Ranch just outside Valentine. Called Cynthia Ann in her youth, she quickly learned how o ride cow ponies and round up 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. When it came time for high school, she enrolled at the Radford School for Girls in El Paso, where one of her classmates, and good friends, was the future Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She then studied at Texas Western  University (now UTEP) 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 living in St. Louis for a spell, the couple moved to Fairfield County, Conn., when he took a sales job at Time Incorporated.  She took on the role as homemaker, corporate wife and, in time, mother to their four children, John, Sissy, Gillett and Sarah. While family came first to her, she did  possess a number of other passions. She adored gardening and carefully nurtured sumptuous plots of vegetables and flowers in her yard at Mine Hill Road in Fairfield each growing season. She also became deeply involved in  the Fairfield Garden Club and served 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. Not surprisingly, she was a proud member of the English Literary Club of Greater Bridgeport,  ne of the oldest book clubs in America, and relished the times that she had to prepare programs  for that august group. She cherished the trips she so often took with Sandy to hunt ducks on  the Eastern Shore of Maryland and loved playing paddle tennis. Never one for really cold weather, she 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. She endured several losses in her life, the toughest of which were the  death of her brother Craige in World War II, and her husband Sandy, who died much too young a man in  1985. She was also very close to her beloved brother Alf, a West Texas cowboy to the core who died four years ago at the age of 92.  Survivors include her children, John Steinbreder of Redding, Conn.,  Sissy Luciani of  Dunwoody, Georgia; Gillett Brescia of Sonoma, Cal., and Sarah Steinbreder of San Francisco; daughter-in-law Cynthia Crolius; sonsin- law Michael Luciani and Bruce Brescia; and grandchildren Exa Steinbreder, Tyler and Drew Luciani and Lydia Cross. A memorial service will be at Trinity Church in Southport, CT, April 25 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.


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