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September 20, 1972 - January 31, 2013
Stella Miller passed away accidentally on January 31, 2013, at the age of 40. She was a bundle of energy that entered into this world with a passion for life that could not be contained. She is survived by her mother, Donna Miller, of Laguna Woods; her father, David Dantes, of North Hollywood; and her stepmother, Katie Amira, of Brentwood; and by a large and loving network of family and friends. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Stella attended Santa Monica High School, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts at American College for the Applied Arts, Los Angeles and a Master's Degree in Psychology from Saybrook University. With a background in dance, fitness, and martial arts, she entered law enforcement in 2000. She served for 13 years, first as a deputy sheriff with LASD for 5 years and finally as a police officer with LAPD for 8 years. A free spirit full of hope, love, affection, and acceptance, she was never one to judge others and was extremely devoted to colleagues, friends, and family. She looked for the best in everyone and worked to bring it out in them with her warm smile, infectious laugh, and heart full of compassion. A true California girl, she loved the ocean and spent time at the beach - surfing, running, and rollerblading. She championed the cause of the humane treatment of all God's creatures. Her passion for animals led her to rescue and foster dogs as a volunteer and on one occasion to rescue numerous animals in the line of duty as a police officer. She exuded warmth and generosity and left an indelible mark on every life she touched. She will always be remembered as an incredibly vibrant, tenacious, hilarious, loving, beautiful, strong, and genuinely sweet young woman. She packed more into her brief time on this planet than most living twice as long.
A memorial and celebration of Stella's life was held with full honors at the LAPD Westchester training facility on February 19, 2013. A celebration of Stella's life and love of dancing, "Dancing for Stella," will take place on March 3, 2013 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m at the Writers Boot Camp at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Mary's Little Lambs, a dog rescue, fostering, and adoption organization where Stella was an active volunteer. To make a donation in Stella's memory, please contact Mary Chatman at 323-758-8992.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 24, 2013