Stella Lyeman Novotny died on Nov. 1 of a formidable form of acute myeloid leukemia, two weeks after her fourth birthday.

Stella was the daughter of Casey Kriedman and Jed Novotny of West Tisbury and New York city, sister of George, and the granddaughter of Terry Kriedman and Deurward Lyeman Hughes, and Sandra Novotny.

As related by the rabbi at her funeral service, Stella made life her stage, and everyone and anyone served as her audience. She dressed up as all the superheroes, especially as Wonder Woman, and danced to Lady Gaga, and sang to Bob Marley. She danced at home, at Sloan Kettering, and at Seattle Children’s, always with tubes flowing and IV poles following. She danced in tutus, in costumes, with her parents, with the nurses, with the doctors. Her family devoted their lives to making Stella’s short life as “normal” as possible.

All treatments were explored, all experimental medication pursued, and all trials researched. Through it all, Stella laughed and sang and teased. Her spirit was miraculous and infectious. She was a beautiful child, even when she lost her hair. It just made her eyes twinkle more brightly.

Stella loved her life, as unusual as it was. In the year and a half since her diagnosis Stella was always with her parents. She was never alone.

Stella would insist that we keep on dancing. And that we find a cure for this terrible disease that targets young children.

Contributions can be made in her memory to A gathering at the Edgartown lighthouse children’s memorial will be held sometime next summer.