September 20, 1927 to April 14, 2021
The world lost one of its most precious human beings when Estelle “Stella” Law left us on April 14 at her home in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Stella, 93, died peacefully while holding the hand of her son Steve Law.
Stella’s children Diane Putman and Steve Law were the jewels of her life.
She was buried at Home of Peace cemetery in Los Angeles next to her beloved sister Lilly Klein, her soul mate for 86 years.
Stella, also known as Stel or Stacie, moved to Sun Lakes in 2018 to be close to Diane, who oversaw her care after Stella’s health declined last year.
Stella was a delight to be around; everyone who spent time with her quickly grew fond of her. She was known for her strong love and dedication to family, her kindness, her shy manner, her empathy, her unassuming sunny disposition and her innate wisdom.
Her frequent laughter lit up a room and left everyone with a smile, particularly while she was bantering with Lil.
Stella was a gym rat until her 90s, inspiring countless health club members with her enthusiasm, fitness and dedication. She loved playing cards and other table games, particularly rummy cube and the “hammer game.” When there was lively music on, such as at the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, the notoriously shy Stella was the first to get up to dance, well into her 80s.
She took immense pride in her Sephardic Jewish heritage, and recited the name of practically every extended family member in her nightly prayers.
Stella kept up with the daily news and was a voracious reader of books about the Holocaust and Hollywood biographies. She watched soap operas with her daughter and they enjoyed movies, concerts and theatre. She shared her love of the Los Angeles Dodgers with her son. Stella was a dedicated “dog grandmother” to five of Diane and her husband Gary’s papillons over the last two decades.
Stella was born in 1927 in Indianapolis to Hyman and Esther Yosha, immigrants from Monastir in the Ottoman Republic. The Yosha clan came from a community of Sephardic Jews evicted from Spain in 1492 during the Inquisition. Her parents retained their native Ladino language in the house on Church Street where Stella grew up, next door to her aunt, uncle and cousins.
She was the last of her generation of Yoshas to pass, outlasting seven treasured siblings: Abe, Raye, Ike, Jack, Lou, Moe and Lil. Two other siblings died in infancy.
Stella moved with her family to Los Angeles at age 19, where she met and married Albert Law at age 22. They divorced in 1966.
Stella lived many years in Reseda, in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, two miles from her sister Lil. She moved to Lomita, near the South Bay, in 1997 to be closer to her daughter Diane. Lil later relocated to the same mobile home park, living just down the lane. Stella moved to Sun Lakes shortly after Lil passed.
Stella started working to support the family at age 5, selling shopping bags for a nickel to downtown shoppers in Indianapolis, often evading police.
She later worked at a series of clerical jobs in Indianapolis and Los Angeles. When her husband left the family, Stella took on three jobs to support their two adolescent children. She spent her final years of work at Greta Ferell’s Catering, where her dizzyingly fast hands prepared tens of thousands of hors d’oeuvres for Hollywood parties and political fundraisers.
Stella is survived by Diane and Gary Putman; Steve Law and his wife Dawn Robbins; grandchildren Rimona Law, Gabriel Law and Rachel Jumago; Rachel’s husband Matt Jumago; great-grandchildren Juniper and Rowan Jumago; cousin Rosie Black; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Sandy Klein
Montalvo and her husband Cel Montalvo, and Denni Klein.
Stella’s family celebrated her life in a private memorial in Sun Lakes.