Stella was the mother of Jake Hanson. Largely absent from his life, she had an affair with Vince Connors, a rich married man, which produced him. Later, she took up with a guy named Hank ten years younger than her and was looked after by her other son, Jess Hanson.
She came to visit Jake on his birthday and while he was hesitant to let her back into his life, he let her stay with him for a few days. She claimed to have changed, but it was only a matter of time before she fell back into her alcohol habit. Jake decided that she couldn't stay with him anymore and recommended she move elsewhere. Reluctantly, she moved on.
A couple of years later, she passed away after an argument with Jess Hanson from a brain hemorrhage. Jake and Jo Reynolds went to her funeral in Washington State, where they came back into contact with Jess.