School 07
Official Obituary of

Sophie Z. Pierce

June 3, 1946 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Sophie Pierce Obituary

SOPHIE Z. PIERCE (nee Zebrowski), age 77, of Brecksville, passed away February 29, 2024.  Beloved wife of 25 years to Joseph; loving stepmother to Paul (Sarah), Vincent (Ines), Sandra, Kimberly Stobbe, CJ Steer (Tom), and Joseph F.; caring daughter of the late Anthony Walter and Zofia Zebrowski (nee Rogulski); dearest sister of Anthony Zebrowski (Linda), Elizabeth Elchlinger (Dennis), Crystine Mervis (Allan), Maryann Cuglewski (the late Paul), Joseph Zebrowski (Colleen), Richard Zebrowski (Vicki), and Basia Lynn (Bob); aunt and great aunt to many.  She was a member of St. Basil the Great Catholic Church in Brecksville. 

Sophie was born in Sopot, Poland in 1946. Her father had traveled to United States ahead of the family with promises to send for them when he was able. Sophie, her mother, and her younger brother were reunited with her father in 1949 and by 1951 the family had found their way to Cleveland, Ohio. Sophie eventually became the proud oldest sister to seven cherished siblings. Sophie’s father, Anthony W. Zebrowski, learned English and, after a variety of work experience, found his call as a disc-jockey on WZAK 93.1 FM. He became a well-regarded local radio celebrity and pioneer. Sophie made frequent appearances on the show with her father.

Speaking only Polish on her arrival at kindergarten, Sophie eventually gained an exceptional mastery of the English language and excelled in her studies. In 1964 she graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She then attended the newly established Cleveland State University where she earned both a B.A. and M.A. in English. She later earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence at the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law in 1984.

Sophie took her love and facility with language to the Cleveland School District where she instructed and inspired students at South and James Ford Rhodes High Schools. Through Ohio Wesleyan University she was able to travel to Florence, Italy for three summers, where she taught humanities to other teachers. She was highly active on committees responsible for textbook selection and curriculum writing. In 1993 she was nominated to represent the Cleveland School District in the Ohio Teacher of the Year program. She continued to teach with enthusiasm until her retirement in 1997.

In June 1998, Sophie accepted a proposal of marriage from Joseph Pierce, whom she had met while he had been a Navy Junior ROTC instructor at James Ford Rhodes High School. Sophie and Joe celebrated their nuptials on January 9, 1999. Sophie became the beloved stepmother of six children and, in time, the grandmother of eight. They resided in the Historic Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland before relocating to Brecksville, OH in 2005.

Sophie possessed a boundless intellectual curiosity and appreciation for art. She regularly attended performances at the Cleveland Playhouse and the Cleveland Orchestra. However, she reserved her greatest love for her brothers and sisters, her nieces and nephews, her stepchildren and, most of all, her beloved husband, Joe. The mention of any one of these individuals in conversation with Sophie would be enough to evoke a radiant, joy-filled smile.

All are invited to gather at St. Basil the Great Catholic Church, 8700 Brecksville Rd, Brecksville, Ohio 44141, where her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. Private Family Inurnment will take place at a later date at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio. 

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Mass of Christian Burial
March 13, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Basil the Great Catholic Church
8700 Brecksville Rd
Brecksville, OH 44141

Private Inurnment

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
10175 Rawiga Road
Rittman, OH 44273


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