Ari Lacelle of Willits, CA passed away on July 17 2021.
Ari, born Marie Ethel Fish, in Danville NY on April 19, 1937, to Docia and Paul Fish. She moved to CA in 1948 and married Lynn Stoller in 1954, with whom she traveled the world for his job with IBM. They had three children and divorced in 1967.
Ari was a special education instructor and in one class she wrote her name, MARIE, with the M and E in yellow so they were not very visible. The children promptly called her ARI, and the name stuck.
Ari married Lester (Loren) Lacelle in 1971 in Los Angeles and in 1977 they moved to New Dawn south of Willits, where they built a hand-made home. Many friends from Los Angeles joined them in Willits where they created a loving community. Ari and Loren created a successful mail order business of Downhome Comforters. Loren moved to Guatemala in the 1990s where he lived until he passed in 2016. Ari lived her remaining years with her partner Jon Filarski in the Willits house.
Ari was active in community projects - playing Elizabeth Cady Staunton for school children and cooking meals for the less fortunate at the Willits community center. She enjoyed gardening and was an active member of the swim group and book club. Ari was known for her long, colorful skirts, had a blunt honest way and tolerated very little guile. She was recognized for her laugh, frankness, charm, and love of cooking. She will be missed and held with love by those she has left behind.
Ari is survived by her brother Nathan (Taran) Fish of Willits, CA and sister Margaret (Peggy) Fish of Kansas City, MO; her children Rebecca, Rand and Brad Stoller; and granddaughter Sophia Stoller. She is predeceased by her brother Robert, husbands Lynn Stoller and Loren Lacelle; and partner Jon Filarski.
A celebration of life will be held at The Willits Art Center on Saturday October 2, 2021.
Published by The WillitsNews on Aug. 8, 2021.