The following song was written and performed by Rachel Gross, classmate of Deanna:
The following pieces were first shared by Deanna's friends and
family on November 26th at a memorial service held at the Santa
Monica High School Greek Theater.
Message From Class of 2004 by Irene
As representative of the sophomore class and as a friend of Deanna,
I would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy
to Deanna's family for the sad loss we have all suffered. This tragedy
has effected us all in many ways: emotionally, mentally, and even
This tragic event shows us the danger and hurtfulness that violence
in all its forms brings upon us. We are all reminded in this tragic
way of the importance of committing ourselves to non-violence,
to the principle that violence is never the answer. Let us also
go forward from this day dedicated to taking care of each other,
with a heightened awareness of how fragile life is, and how much
we need each other.
A student in particular who shared her grief expressed that she
will no longer be the one standing around in a circle supporting
the fight going on, but rather the one in the middle stopping
it. It takes much more strength and courage to commit to non-violence.
There are many ways in which we can make an effort towards non-violence.
All it takes is one simple act like holding someone back, or telling
them that it's going to be all right, let it go, or even taking
their mind off of it by telling a joke. It's these small, simple
steps that are able to prevent these acts of violence. You’re
able to do something about it.
Compassion by Ms. Franke
Last year I got to know Deanna
in my freshman English class, and it didn't take long to find out
that she was special. Deanna had an unassuming confidence, an aura
of optimism, that made people want to be around her, because when
people were around her things felt safe, things felt funnier and
more adventurous, and people felt good about themselves.
I could spend my few minutes telling you how smart she was, and
believe me, she was very very bright. I could also tell you how
motivated she was, never embarrassed, never too cool, to have
completed her homework, to know the answers, to participate in
class. Perhaps I could focus on her sense of humor, her athleticism,
her reliability, or her popularity. But instead, I'd like to focus
on what I admired most about Deanna, and that was her compassion.
Deanna felt a responsibility to contribute to the happiness of
others. She wanted people to feel comfortable and respected.
Deanna even looked out for her teachers. For example, if I was
trying out a new lesson, and it just wasn't working, and no one
would participate, Deanna would be the first to raise her hand
and volunteer, just so I didn't have to feel uncomfortable. If
a friend was unnecessarily rude to me in class, Deanna wasn't
afraid to call that person on it, and that friend would listen
to her, because he knew she was only standing up for what was
The question is: what do we do now?
I know that there are people who feel guilty, wondering if they
could have done something different to prevent this tragedy. Beware
of guilt. Guilt turns into pain, pain turns into hate, and hate
turns to violence and self-destruction. No one here is responsible
for our loss, and your guilt will only increase the tragedy, because
you are precious just as Deanna was precious.
Gradually, you will heal, and Deanna would want you to heal.
Deanna was not one to sit and moan, she was one to take action,
to solve the problem, to make things better. Take that part of
her spirit and use it.
Deanna didn't know what she wanted to do with her future. No
doubt it would not have been enough to simply make a profit, she
was too dutiful for that. Whatever she would have done, I'm sure
that she would have contributed to her society somehow.
Unfortunately, Deanna's opportunity to decide what to do with
her life was cut off from her. However, we can give her an occupation.
We can give her death meaning by making her a beacon for nonviolence.
My guess is that this is what she would want: to help people.
You have been raised in a violent society. But the good news
is that society is not stagnant - it is constantly changing. If
you really want to honor Deanna ask yourself what you can do to
change attitudes towards violence? It's not enough to supply a
good example. Silence is compliance. Like Deanna, we need to take
responsibility for the well-being of our society. How can you
awaken others to the realities of violence? How can you educate
those younger than you?
Eventually, everyday life will regain some normalcy. As you move
on, will your commitment to nonviolence fade? How can you stay
committed next year, the year after that, in college and throughout
your career? You are powerful, and can make an enormous impact.
If you really want to honor Deanna, make your commitment to non-violence
Lessons Learned by Lucy
LaLa had so much life in her.
She spread her smile and energy wherever she went. I would have
never thought that in my life time I would lose such a dear friend
and it makes you realize how precious this life actually is.
It's just so sad to think that it takes the life of our beautiful
friend to realize that. Life is not about material things and
its not about an image you try to project. We all have to start
being good to each other because you never know when your enemy
or your best friend will be gone, just like that. When LaLa died,
a part of me died, a part of all of us died. This has made me
realize everything that I have taken for granted. I regret every
single time that I have been around a fight and I've cheered it
on rather than broken it up. Life is too short to have so much
hate. We have to start loving each other. LaLa died in a time
of hate, LaLa died over nothing. You start to think how messed
up this world is when it takes a life to teach us this lesson.
LaLa is safe now. Rest in peace LaLa. We love you.
Athletics by Iris
Deanna was an amazing person.
She was incredibly smart, funny, beautiful, hardworking and true
to everything she believed in. I never saw her just stand by and
watch something she thought was wrong. Deanna would always do something
about it. She brought something special to everything she did.
Our volleyball program has been truly blessed to have her as
a part of our family. Freshman year was her first playing volleyball,
but she didn’t let that stop her from becoming one of the
best players. She truly represents what being a part of a team
and being a part of a family are all about. Deanna was always
helping and supporting the other players. She always worked her
hardest no matter how tired, hungry or hurt she was. Most of you
don’t know what volleyball practice is like, but I will
let you know that it is a lot of hard work. Two and a half hours
of running and always pushing yourself to get better. But no matter
how tough things got, Deanna always had a way of making us feel
better. If I was crying because I was tired, she could make me
laugh. She has touched all of us on a very deep, personal level,
and we all have an indescribable amount of love for her. She will
always be in our hearts. I have never respected and admired anyone
as much as Deanna. She managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA, work as
a hostess at the Firehouse, play volleyball and water polo and
still make a difference in so many people’s lives. She was
always a wonderful friend to me. I would have been a different
person without her. I keep seeing Deanna’s beautiful face
and thinking about all that she was going to do in her life. Out
of everyone I know, she was going to change the world. What has
managed to comfort me through this hard time is the knowledge
that she did. We cannot let her death be for nothing. We, as a
community, need to stop the violence so that other people can
live. Deanna would have wanted this.
From the Water Polo team
Everyone should remember the first
time that they met Deanna Maran. Remember? Of course you do. The
tan, the teeth, the thick black hair, and the smile. Her smile.
It would be impossible to catch her on a day without that grin spread
beautifully across her face.
Her approach would be so simple, yet would effect your whole
idea of what beauty is. Never will we meet another being who carried
herself with such confidence while at the same time, give off
an aura of warmth. Never again will we find a spirit with such
an ability to embrace life. Lala, was the energy source that made
rebounds to happen. One look and instantly your angst would disappear.
Words will never be able explain or replace her tenacity. She
lifted burden with her spirit and joy. Never a frown, never a
tear. Only smiles, for miles around, spread with ease from ear
to ear. She is so giving (unless of course, she was mooching and
believe me, this girl knew how to EAT and be proud of it). Smiles
she received were no match to what she handed out, for hers came
from within and with meaning. Her charm and irresistibility were
both truly beautiful and amazingly unique. Deanna was admired
and envied by people who surrounded her in life. It was so refreshing
to see the way she held herself high and shine with not a hint
of arrogance. She is the one and only girl who’d look sexy
with her tummy showing in those tight tops with equally tight
pants. She was beautiful; she contained the perfect amount of
every needed human ingredient: Attitude, intellect, humor, soul,
love, passion, joy -and the finishing touch... Lala’s extraordinary
It’s what you would experience just by being near her,
or just by watching her. She had an incredible presence, that
you could feel as she came and went. She gave out melodious vibes
that would immediately fill our hearts -almost as if she reached
out and warmed you from the inside out.
Deanna, you never ceased to amaze us with what you held and who
you were. We can only thank you for your existence no matter how
short it has been. We were blessed and still are, just because
you shared a piece of yourself with each and every person you
touched. Though you might have left us to go on, you’ll
always remain in our hearts.
Thank you, for everything.
Best Friends Always by Lindsey
Deanna was the friend I've had
the longest. I met her on a summer day when I was eight years old.
We became best friends instantly and have been best friends since
that day. We did everything together. We learned how to surf, roller-blade,
skateboard, and much more.
There was always adventure and new experiences when we were together.
Most of my life changing experiences were accompanied by Deanna.
We were so close and so alike, but as we got older we became such
different people. She made perfect grades and was very athletic,
and I was failing school and always getting myself into trouble.
No matter how different we were, we were still best friends. She
tried to help in any way, the best she could. She was there through
anything. She would never turn her back on me or anyone for that
She was the most beautiful, intelligent, and honest person I
have ever known. To live to be half of what she might become would
be a great accomplishment in my life. I love her so much. She
will always be my best friend. I hope to see her again one day.
Best Friends Always by Ashley
When I had hard times, Deanna
would always say, “Don’t stress on it, let it go.”
I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. I was always jealous of her
amazing strength. She had the ability to help lost souls find the
right mind and create an identity.
I am creating my identity now, and she is the model. She was
my ideal, but my ideal is gone. Life is cruel and harsh, but after
all is said and done, we choose how to react. We all feel anger.
. . confusion. . . denial. . . and hate. . .but we can’t
allow these feelings to eat away our good any longer. Deanna wouldn’t
want it that way, because she was always there to create joy and
happiness. We can’t ever ignore that, and we can’t
ever forget that, because that is her legacy.
We were all created to be good to one another, to be true to
one another, and to love one another. Deanna was always good to
us, true to us, and loved all of us.
I hope everyone feels the intensity of this moment. I really
wish this tragedy re-opens doors that have been shut down by negative
feelings. Let’s all gain something and come back stronger
and together. Let us all take back what we’ve lost by carrying
her goodness in all of us, forever.
She'll Be Missed by Kiyoshi
On Sunday morning, November 18,
2001, we lost a person unique and special. Deanna Maran was a very
beautiful person inside and out. She was always happy and energetic;
eager to have fun.
She was extremely caring and generous, even with people that
didn't know her that well. She was always wearing a smile that
would spread to everyone around. She loved life and made other
people love it too. She was always trying to make everything cool,
just as she was trying to do the last night that she was with
us. Her life is something that everyone will miss. She was taken
from us and moved on to the unknown, but she will always be within
each of us. Whether you were just acquainted with her or you were
her best friend, she was able to carve out a place for herself
in your heart. Her spirit could fill a room and embrace everyone
in it. Everyday something will remind us of her whether it is
a memory or a simple gesture. Deanna invested herself into all
she could. She put herself into choir, water polo, volleyball
and track. She was friends with practically everybody that she
met. It was impossible not to like her. She loved everything she
Last year, she was in choir with me and we would talk before
and after class. She was very kind, and she always spread her
energy. This year I haven't talked to her as much as I wish I
had, since we did not have any classes together. Now, I will never
be able to say hi again, and I regret every opportunity I did
not seize to talk to her. I still don't believe that something
so tragic could happen to such a wonderful person. I will never
be able to talk to her again, walk with her, or simply give her
a comforting hug, and it breaks me. You always think that the
people that you know, the people that surround you, are invincible;
they could never truly get hurt. Then, this kind of incident happens
and suddenly you find yourself having to write RIP with your friend’s
name following it. It just shouldn't happen.
Deanna, you have imprinted yourself on us and we will always
remember you, no matter what happens. I hope that wherever you
are, you are spreading your love. We love you. Rest in Peace,
I Remember... by Tim
I remember the first time I met
you in the middle of ninth grade, I knew we'd be friends forever,
but why did forever have to be yesterday?
I'll never see you again, this thought I can't endure,
All this pain I feel inside, I realize there's no cure.
I thought life was so clear, but now it's just a blur.
I thought I was invincible, but now I'm just insecure.
In this world full of weakness, you were the epitome of perfection,
Most would give anything to look in the mirror, and see your reflection.
I remember the last time I looked into your eyes,
A look of hopelessness, as you prepared for your demise.
My mind searched for answers but the only thing I could think
How in this world filled with sorrow, you brought an end to the
So many times, I've replayed this horrible night in my head,
Maybe I could've done something, and you wouldn't be dead.
Then I realize I was as helpless as you were in that car,
In truth, I was stabbed too, but it only left a scar.
After more tears are shed, I'm again forced to think about my
Then I picture going to 5th period James on my left, but you're
not on my
Deanna, please I miss you, just come back for one more day,
I just can't understand, it wasn't supposed to happen this way.
Then I recall when I carried you to the car, your blood covered
Who in their right mind would ever do you any harm?
Shortly thereafter your blood was absorbed by my skin,
How lucky a person would be to have the blood of Deanna within.
Unique by Zoe and Tori
Zoë: Deanna was like no
one we have ever met. She was a strong-minded, smart, funny and
beautiful person. There was never a dull moment with her.... she
was always there to make us laugh and smile.... there was something
about her presence that just lit up the hearts of everyone around
Out of all her friends Deanna had to be the loudest. She always
stood up for what she believed in and never let anyone tell her
otherwise. She disliked when people weren't true to themselves
and always called them on it. She was one of the most honest people
that you would ever meet. Everyone recognized her strength and
honesty and knew that they could always go to her for advice.
Even though she came off as an extremely strong person, she had
a soft side to her too. She lightened up the mood and always knew
when a good laugh was in order. I know that for the both of us
she was our idol. We adored her, and if it is possible for angels
to roam the earth Deanna was one of them.
Deanna didn't get everything that she asked for; yet she never
complained. She just lived her life to the fullest. We all act
as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life,
when all that we need is something to be enthusiastic about.
Even now we still feel her presence everywhere and she is never
out of our minds. Eating is especially difficult because we keep
thinking she is sitting next to us at the table waiting for us
to say, “You know that you want some Deanna! So I'll just
turn away for a quick second and you can take a little bite I
wont mind;”. Going to the beach, tanning on the roof, Abercrombie
models, Krispy Creams, In and Out, C&O, IHOP, The Firehouse
cafe, Max Steel and Batman Beyond.... these are only a small portion
of things that we had shared with Deanna. Aristotle once said,
What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies. We have known Lala
for several years and every moment was special and will never
be forgotten. She was and will always be a large part of us.
Even though her death was extremely tragic and devastating, there
is a dawn in everyone. We have all learned the true meaning of
life. Everyone took life for granted until now. But we have learned
how precious the gift of life really is. We all need to realize
that the negatives in life shouldn't be taken so seriously. We
all have good inside and its just a matter of finding that good
and putting it to use.
Now whenever we look up into the night sky we think of what Shakespeare
wrote in Romeo and Juliet,
When she shall die take her and cut her out into stars and she
shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will
be in love with night l demand pay no worship to the garish sun.
And we know that she will always be up there looking upon us.
We love you so much our dearest Lala and the thought of you sings,
smiles, dances, and glows in our hearts forever.
Deanna Maran... by Dan
Deanna Maran who hand an incredible
smile Deanna Maran who went the extra mile
Deanna Maran who always made everyone laugh
Deanna Maran who ate for 1 person like she was 2 and a 1/2
Deanna Maran who always tried her best
Deanna Maran who was different from the rest
Deanna Maran who loved and cared
Deanna Maran who as friends we shared
Deanna Maran who loved to dance and get down
Deanna Maran who smiled instead of frowned
Deanna Maran who everyone was a perfect fit
Deanna Maran who knew how to work her hips
Deanna Maran who I called Knockout Queen and Thunder Thighs
Deanna Maran who was the brightest star in the sky
Deanna Maran who was a student and athlete
Deanna Maran who without our lives are incomplete
Deanna Maran who we will always miss
Deanna Maran who deserves better than this
Deanna Maran who wasn’t shy
Deanna Maran who’s limit was the sky
Deanna Maran the reason we are here today because a little in
us died the day
Deanna Maran passed away
We love you “Lala”
Lala by Julian
I cannot remember the first time
I met you, or your family. I hear stories but, still cannot remember.
I remember the love letters which I would rip up disgusted that
you liked me, for it was unrequited love. You gave me love letters,
I ripped them, you drew our wedding pictures, I destroyed them,
you wrote a letter pretending to be chi-chi, I was furious. Only
now do I realize I was a fool. I had the most amazing girl in
the world in love with me and turned her down. But I had something
with you, only four others did, you were my sister, and always
Now I try to get on with my life, but cannot, for a part of me
is dead. I am thankful I still have three sisters and one brother,
but nothing can fill the gap you have left.
You have left me your friends who have taught me about another
side of you I never knew. I look out today and see just how many
people you have touched. Until I join you, you will be in my thoughts
every minute of everyday.
Lessons by Elisa
Your smile lit up the room...
Your smile lit up the room
Your laugh kept it shining
Your love surrounded us all
We surrounded you
Your heart was stabbed once
Ours was stabbed twice
Your blood stained our clothes
Our stained hearts breath
Eternity wouldn't wake you up
Eternity won't let you go
Eternity stood by your side
Eternity stood by ours
Cause by what you bestowed
In our short time together
Will last in my heart forever and ever
You taught us to never give up
We trusted you
We need your strength
We need your dignity
We need your presence
Enjoy now your long awaited reward
Feel peace that your love continues on
What was taught to me, will be taught to mine
Cause you live on in me even after you've gone
Eternity is yours forever
Lessons By Zinaida
The night was one big blur...
The night was one big blur
I can't see the party from the hospital
Deanna's face from her voice
The perfume from my cell phone
Everything was so inconceivable
Looking back is like fast forwarding a scary movie
With the tears and the fright as the music in the background
I couldn't even think about her, I just kept thinking about the
situation she was in
And I finally realized that the only thing that could keep me
from going crazy, the only thing that could keep me level headed
was thinking about her life
How much she had to offer
How much she loved everyone and everything
How much strength and support she gave me and my friends
How she would jump in and dance in the middle of every circle
of shy people on a dance floor
How she ate like she was never going to eat again
How her exquisite face was seen by everyone she saw and her radiance
was sensed by everyone she talked to
Not in the least bit selfish
She gave a piece of herself to everybody
And I know my piece of Deanna will remain eternally.
Deanna got to love, to be loved and to share her love
The most important things in the world
We mourn the death of our friend
And pray for a better future for the rest of us
What a price to pay for a valuable lesson
I can only hope now that the lesson stays with us for the rest
of our lives
Sundays by The Firehouse Restaurant
Everyone has their own distinct
memories of Deanna. Friends at the Firehouse recall when the natural
sun had not yet risen but her sun in her smile would shine bright
enough to warm our hearts. In the middle of a Sunday rush, her little
stories calmed us, like a gentle rain on a sun-parched earth.
LaLa was gorgeous, inside and out. Her beauty was so captivating.
It wasn't long before random customers became regular diners,
(wanting to catch a glimpse of her radiant smile), Many customers
mesmerized by her natural beauty would ask about her and we'd
have to tell them, "Sorry dude, she's only 15."
Our days at the Firehouse always ended the same way. The final
minute ticked on the time clock, tips were passed out, and we
all gathered at our favorite booth. Sometimes LaLa would even
pull out her homework and ask for help. And always, the boys would
sit around her like 10 little Indians trying to warm themselves
by the fire.
We will always miss you, Deanna, but just the thought of your
smile and your cute little dimple brightens up our days.
Laughter by Salomae and Crystal
Salomae: When you lose someone
close it always helps to reflect on the funny moments from the past.
Crystal: Remember that one time in 8th grade when you and Deanna
were in that solo competition?
Salomae: Yeah, and in the middle of her solo you kept bouncing
up and down trying to groove to Deanna’s classical song
she was singing.
Crystal: Yeah, then Nancy hit me an I started to giggle, then
Deanna stopped singing and laughed right along us. . . . She lost
because of me but she never held a grudge.
Salomae: And what did she say after the competition? . . . “forget
Together: “I’m hungry.”
Crystal: She always found humor in everything . . . the one thing
I can say about Deanna is “WOO, WOO”
Salomae: “You know, you know.”
Together: “Deanna LALA Maran, rest in peace.”
The Deanna Maran Foundation relies
upon tax deductible contributions for financial aid.
You can donate using Pay Pal or by sending a check
Deanna Maran Foundation for Non-Violence
P.O. Box 7037
San Carlos, CA 94070
donation above $10 you get a free t-shirt!
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Thank you for your continued support of the Deanna
Maran Foundation for Non Violence