Sharon H. Nelson Steinsland passed away on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 after a long battle with chronic illness.
Sharon O’Nita Herbert was born September 11, 1941 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas. She grew up in the La Marque and Texas City area. During her childhood, she played many different sports and focused on her academic success. She made many friends that remained loyal and constant throughout her life.
She attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with Honors from the School of Pharmacology in 1965. After practicing as a pharmacist for 10 years, she decided to make an application to Graduate School at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. At UTMB, she recognized that her passion was research and teaching. During this career, she met the love of her life, Odd S. Steinsland. Together, they did many research experiments that garnished accolades and also took them all over the world to present their findings. In addition, Sharon enjoyed teaching graduate students and medical students as a tenured Associate Professor. Through the years she was appointed in the Department of Anesthesiology as an Assistant Professor and was then made an Associate Professor with tenure. She had joint appointments in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, was a member of the scientific staff at Shriner’s Burns Institute in Galveston and a faculty member in the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Galveston. She retired in 2000 and was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB. She continued her passion for science and learning as a reviewer for NIH and various scientific journals.
Throughout her life, she enjoyed her home life with Odd and her boys. Family discussions around the dinner table were favorite times. Saturday morning breakfast was sacred to her because she made French toast and her special banana-orange juice for her boys. She and Odd were also voracious readers and loved traveling around the world together. Her nickname to the neighborhood kids and her children’s friends was “Sheriff Sharon” because she liked adherence to her rules of fair play and etiquette.
“Sheriff Sharon” became “Bestamor” (which means Grandmother in Norway) once the grandchildren started to arrive and her stringent rules were loosened. The grandchildren, Emelie, Parker, Jessie, Abigail, Ellie, Cody, Peighton, Mason and Olivia, all loved their Bestamor.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Odd S. Steinsland; and her parents, Dorothy and Van Kermit (Rip) Herbert. She is survived by her sons, Reid Allen Nelson and Dr. Todd Eric Nelson (Stephanie Nelson); her sister, Mary (Dooley) Peter and brother, Van Kermit (Kerry) Herbert, Jr.; grandchildren Emelie Nelson, Parker Nelson, Peighton Nelson, Jessie Meibaum, Abigail Meibaum, Ellie Phillips, Cody Phillips, Mason Nelson and Olivia Nelson; niece, Shelley Herbert; nephew, Ross Herbert (Christine Herbert); great-nephews, Justin Herbert and Jacob Herbert and great-niece, Haley Herbert; numerous cousins, extended family and friends.
Sharon’s family will receive visitors beginning at 4:00 pm, Saturday, October 24, 2020, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home in Galveston. A memorial service will begin at 5:00 pm. Virtual visitation will be accessible through https://vimeo.com/470664089.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Research or the Lupus Foundation, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, or to the UTMB Odd and Sharon Steinsland Pharmacology Scholarship Fund.