Ada Marie Webster
August 12, 1930 – June 25, 2020
Ada Marie Sternenberg Webster, age 89, of Austin, Texas, died June 25, 2020. She was born August 12, 1930, in Lockhart, Texas to Frederick W. Sternenberg and Mary Williams Sternenberg.
After graduating from Lockhart High School, Marie attended the University of Texas, earning a B.A. degree from the McCombs College of Business. She met her husband Fred S. Webster Jr. at UT at the University Christian Church. They were active members for many years, including as elders and members of lay ministries. They were married in 1951, while both were students.
Marie and Fred shared a passion for birdwatching. In 1964, they visited Rancho del Cielo in northeastern Mexico, and became regular visitors to this hemisphere’s northernmost tropical cloud forest. They led many birdwatching trips to Rancho del Cielo, where they introduced many birding enthusiasts to the wonders of that area.
Marie coauthored with Fred a history of Rancho Del Cielo titled “The Road to Cielo” published by the University of Texas Press in 2002. She also coauthored with Fred a book of their birdwatching adventures in “Two Texas Birders, Cameos and Capers”. She and Fred each contributed to “Great Texas Birds”.
While in Mexico, Marie became interested in orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants. She maintained a greenhouse at home with a rainwater collection system which brought her many years of pleasure. She was a long-time member of the Heart o’ Texas Orchid Society in Austin.
Marie was an active member of the Andrew Carruthers Chapter, NSDAR. She served as a docent at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center from its inception and beyond.
Marie is preceded in death by her husband, Fred, of 60 years, and brother, Fred W. Sternenberg Jr. She is survived by sister-in-law Jan Sternenberg, who provided loving care throughout her years of incapacitation. Also survived by nephews Fred W. Sternenberg III (Therese) and Thomas K. Sternenberg (Rebecca), nieces, Sherry S. Hand (Gary), Kathleen A. Sternenberg (David), Julie L. Polansky (Fred) and Mary Clare Hubbell (Dennis) as well as extended family members.
The family extends heart-felt gratitude to Cedar Ridge Special Care Center—their loving staff, and dedicated caregivers to include Kindred/Bethany Hospice—total experts in end-of-life circumstances.
As the result of the current pandemic, her life will be honored by family and close friends on July 9th, at a private graveside ceremony. However, you are welcome to join us on Facebook where the service will be live-streamed beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Weed Corley Fish Funeral Homes page.
Memorials may be made to University Christian Church, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center, or the Austin Alzheimer’s Association.
Ada Marie Webster
July 7, 2020
I am so sorry that we have lost Marie. I took many birding trips/classes with Fred and Marie, and learned so very much from them. Decades ago, I was lucky enough to go to Rancho del Cielo with Fred and Marie. No one who has experienced the "Road" to Rancho del Cielo will ever forget the ride. I still can hear them calling each other in the cloud forest. Fred would call, "Marie come here." Marie would answer back, "Fred, where are you?" Some birders would continue to debate what kind of woodpecker was 80 feet up in a tree, but as far as I was concerned, Marie's answer was the correct one. We walked a lot of the forest looking for a Blue Crowned Motmot and the Tinamou. It was the trip of a lifetime. Marie you were an inspiration and I will always remember you and Fred.
Sue and Tim Williams
July 2, 2020
Marie and Fred shared a wicked sense of humor. They loved life and this world and made it so much better in their time on earth. They were so generous to younger (and youngish) folks with their time and wisdom and support, and they welcomed us into their home and their friendship circle. And Marie continued to do so in the years after Fred's passing. We keep them both in our hearts and hold dear the time we shared with them.
Tim and Sue Williams
July 1, 2020
Marie and Fred were a fine, unique, loving couple. From growing orchids in their greenhouse to birdwatching to taking groups to Mexico’s cloud forests, they were adventurers. They also were authors. They were some of the first people to visit me at home when I came home from the hospital after cancer surgery, with fresh vegetables in hand that they’d grown.
Always interested in others and the environment. I hope they are having a grand time catching up!
Sue Moss Craig Bell
July 1, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the family--Marie was one of a kind. We first met Marie (and Fred) in 1978 at a UCC Sunday School party at Halloween. She was dressed as zombie and had a fake scar running down her face. Since we had not met her before, we spent the evening talking and laughing with her and trying not to look at the scar! When we saw her the next Sunday, she was scarless, and we felt pretty foolish! Then we were in SS class and on Outreach Council with her for many years and learned to know and love her, and later we all laughed about the first time we met. She was a dear, dear lady, and we know she is in God's good hands now.
Sue Moss & Craig Bell