Stella Vokos Soter was born on July 16, 1928 in Portland, OR, to Greek immigrants, George and Katherine Vokos. She also had an older brother, Christ. Stella attended Roosevelt High School where she loved home economics and athletics. She formed a strong bond with a group of girlfriends who called themselves the Megas girls. The sisterhood lasted an entire lifetime.
Stella always loved art and fashion. Growing up during the Depression, she learned to sew and was an accomplished seamstress her entire life. Stella attended Oregon State College for two years until her father's ill health necessitated that she return home.
At a Christmas party when she was twenty years old, she met the handsome Samuel A. Soter, also a Greek American. In 1950, they were married and then were off to Boston so Sam could finish his MBA at Harvard University. They returned to Portland to be close to family and had three children, Anthony (Tony), Gregory and Kathryn. In 1960, they moved to Los Angeles and then spent nearly 60 years making California their home, including 33 years in the Sonoma wine country. They returned to the Portland area for their final few years.
Stella was actively involved in the Greek Orthodox Church, bible study and Philoptochos. She helped to establish St. Paul's in Irvine and Nativity of Christ in Novato. She was always an active volunteer, in various charities, the school PTA, the Sonoma Newcomers Club, and many others. She and Sam enjoyed their fishing trips to Diamond Lake and traveling with friends later in life. She adored children and pets, gardening and golf, music and crafts. Stella made friends easily and always had time for people. She instilled in her children the values of hard work, humility, compassion, kindness to others, a positive attitude and a sense of humor.
Sadly, late in life she developed dementia, a cruel fate for the always-social Stella. She had wonderful caregivers who were inspired by her fighting spirit, her feistiness and charm. They found it funny when she'd speak Greek, not knowing if they were being scolded or she was just having fun. Stella died peacefully at Spring Ridge Court, Wilsonville, on January 14, 2023 at the age of 94.
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