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Zoe Baird Berglund Hesterberg
February 5, 1992 ~ October 7, 2023 (age 31) 31 Years Old
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On October 7, 2023, the world lost a gentle and kind soul when Zoe Baird Berglund Hesterberg (they/them pronouns) died tragically and unexpectedly at the age of 31.
Born in 1992 in California, they were an observant, contemplative, and peaceful baby and a wonderful sibling. They spent most of their life in Minnesota and are survived by parents Gena Berglund and John Hesterberg and siblings Arianna Hesterberg (Spencer Weckwerth) and Michelle Hesterberg (Jessie Briol).
Zoe had a special relationship with animals. Beloved by the family's dogs and cats alike, they especially loved cats, earning them the nickname "cat whisperer."
As a young child, Zoe enjoyed trading Pokemon cards, playing Crash Bandicoot, pretending to be various dinosaurs, and climbing most anything. They loved music and were a gifted visual artist. They spent cherished time with their family on the North Shore of Lake Superior and camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters. They mastered skateboarding and did several backpacking trips with Camp Menogyn, including a 30-day trip in Canada, that brought many happy moments. They enjoyed video games and were impressively good at strategy games.
As an adult, Zoe was deeply intellectual and became astoundingly well-read. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with high honors in Philosophy and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, they explored applying to Ph.D. programs and were in the middle of that process in 2023. They also studied Korean and loved sharing their passion for Korean culture, like food and movies, with others. Zoe additionally loved watching and critiquing films and writing. They wrote a blog for several years and had hoped to eventually write professionally - they had many story and book ideas. It was impossible to know Zoe without being struck by their sensitivity, intelligence, and wry, understated sense of humor.
Zoe was a Marxist socialist and often engaged in political dialogue. They thought deeply about and were greatly affected by the structural inequities and problems in our world. If you had the opportunity to go on a walk or get a meal with Zoe, they undoubtedly challenged the way you think in a way no one else can. We will be forever grateful for all that they taught us and the years we had together.
You will always be in our hearts, Zoe.
Zoe's legal name when they passed was Zooey Madeleine. They were in the process of changing their name to Zoe Baird Berglund Hesterberg. You may also have known Zoe in the past by a different name. Please refrain from using that name and please use they/them pronouns when referring to Zoe.