Sharon Ann Zobrist claimed her place in this world without limits. She had an unlimited capacity for hard work and an unlimited capacity to love and serve others often through her flower arrangements and chocolate chip cookies. Due to complications from a recent second stroke, Sharon passed peacefully on Monday, July 11, 2022, at her beloved family farm in Crozet, Virginia surrounded by her husband, children, and grandchildren. Although she has left this earthly life, her memory will live forever in the hearts of all who knew her and were touched by her generous spirit.
Sharon deeply appreciated beauty, especially creating and sharing it with others. From the time she was a little girl, she had a love of flowers and worked throughout her life to continuously develop her expertise in floral design, studying under renowned masters all over the world. Sharon’s creativity and original floral design brought uplifting color and joy to life’s important occasions and to the daily lives of those around her. Sharon passed on her love of flowers through teaching floral design to learners of all ages and gracing her church weekly with fresh arrangements. As with everything, there was no limit on her dedication to her art which culminated in evicting the cars from the family garage to make room for a commercial scale flower cooler that would be the envy of any professional florist. She was always the top choice when it came to providing flowers for a wedding. No matter your budget, she would blow through it and subsidize it herself to achieve her vision for the event.
Sharon’s life began in Henderson, NV. The family later moved to Richmond, CA where she often reminisced about her doting parents and tap dance lessons and performances. She attended the University of Utah where she fell in love with Duane Zobrist and married him in 1964. The following year, she completed her BA in Elementary Education. They relocated to Los Angeles where Sharon supported the family teaching fourth grade in the LA Unified School District while Duane attended law school.
Sharon and Duane settled in the Pasadena, CA area to raise their five rambunctious children. Sharon perfected and regularly baked chocolate chip cookies which she stocked in her extra freezer in the garage, a dozen per bag, in case a friend was in crisis and she didn’t have time to bake. Sharon was most happy when random friends would show up and help themselves to cookies from the freezer. Sharon opted to keep her 15 passenger Chevy Beauville van (where she listened to talk radio, especially Dr. Laura) when minivans became popular because she always had so much to haul…kids, flowers, baked goods…and she didn’t want the amount of service to be limited by the size of her van. As her floral design hobby grew, she would recruit one of her children to accompany her on regular 3 am trips to the LA wholesale flower market (right next to Skid Row) where homeless people followed her around because she couldn’t stand to see people in need. As her children entered high school, she was often recruited to help run the prom where she became legendary for her theme ideas, decorations, and running the set-up crews. She was asked to continue in her role even after her children graduated as the school couldn’t imagine prom without her.
As an empty nester, Sharon’s service only ramped up. She and Duane left California in 1998 to serve as mission leaders for three-years in the Brazil Santa Maria Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved her time learning Portuguese, serving the people of Brazil, and working side-by-side with Duane. The Zobrists then settled on their new farm in Crozet, VA where Sharon threw herself into expanding the gardens and new church assignments. As leader of the women’s organization at church, Sharon regularly spent 40 to 50 hours per week attending to the needs of the congregation. She loved running Camp Canary Cottage, a week-long camp at the farm for her eighteen grandchildren.
Sharon has been an active and engaged member of the Church of Jesus Christ throughout her adult life. Sharon learned about herself and supported others in service to Christ. She generously showered her love through hugs of acknowledgment and an endearing sense of humor. Her thoughtful approach to the numerous church leadership positions she held inspired and touched the lives of everyone.
In 2014, while serving with Duane as leaders of the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center Sharon suffered a severe stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and wheelchair bound. Despite her disability, she made a meaningful life for herself by continuing to serve others, providing fresh flower arrangements for church and her condo building, and spending time with her family. To Sharon everyday was Amazon Prime Day where her default shipping address was her grandchildren’s.
Sharon is preceded in death by her father and mother, Max and Opal Jones. She is survived by her husband Duane H. Zobrist; five children: Duane (Darlene), Melinda, Darren (Kristin), Brooke, and Lindsay (Zach); eighteen grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
From Sharon to all who knew her, “Hasta luego!”
Sharon’s memorial service was held on July 16 at The Canary Cottage in Crozet.