Filled with the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, our passionate, gifted, and entertaining sister, Arroyo Grande resident, Dr. Laura Millis-Hansen D.C., made her final adjustment on Saturday, May 29, 2021, passing away at the age of 52.
Laura was born in Arroyo Grande and graduated from St. Patrick Catholic School and Arroyo Grande High School (AGHS). She would earn her Bachelor’s and Doctor of Chiropractic Degrees from the famed Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Through her active childhood, Laura was involved in Camp Fire Girls of America and youth sports, including volleyball, basketball, softball, and swimming. In high school, she would join several clubs based on student exchange, community service and leadership and added water polo to her list. She was elected by her classmates and participated in Youth in Government Day and was part of a local police ride-along program, which developed an appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services, that she caried through her life. In her Junior year at AGHS she was selected for Girls State, the premier government and leadership summer program for rising California high school seniors, an accolade she recalled fondly, and reaffirmed a couple years ago when her oldest son was selected for Boys State in Sacramento. Significantly, Laura’s latter years in high school saw her develop a deepening faith and growing desire for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Like so many of us, Laura fell in love with living on the Central Coast, with its temperate weather, rolling hills, and expansive beaches. She not only cherished the natural surroundings, but the festivals and sense of community throughout the Five Cities. At an early age, she was determined to become a Chiropractor and knew she wanted to attend Palmer in Iowa. Our parents had instilled in us an obligation to demonstrate servant-leadership and loyalty to our fellow citizens. Laura would often acknowledge how she observed them sacrificing time in their busy lives to advance the goals of their church, civic associations, clubs, and volunteer organizations. This seeded Laura’s desire to return and start a business based upon lifetime wellness care and holistic principles, and raise a family of her own, fully invested in the community.
In 1993, upon graduation from Palmer, Laura would return to Arroyo Grande and open A.D.I.O. (Above. Down. Inside. Out.) Chiropractic Clinic. For over 27 years, “Dr. Laura,” as she was now affectionately called, adjusted patients of all ages, providing optimal alignment for long-term health. Many of you reading this will attest to her passion and giftedness as a Doctor of Chiropractic because, likely, she changed your life, often achieving results others could not. Dr. Laura loved all her patients but had a special place in her heart for infants.
Periodically, sleep deprived mothers would bring their crying babies into her clinic suffering from colic, eating or digestive ailments. Day or night, Dr. Laura would set their minds at ease as she confidently assessed and treated their precious children. Laura made the difficult decision to officially close her clinic upon receiving her diagnosis, to marshal all her time and energy toward winning her battle with Leukemia. She fully intended to reopen once she received a clean bill of health. God had other plans for Laura, and A.D.I.O. Chiropractic Clinic’s doors remain closed, but the legacy of Dr. Laura’s healing touch will live on for generations.
In her adult years, Laura became an active leader within the Battalion of Deborah Ministries and worked to advance Down Syndrome awareness and advocacy across the school system and broader community. In July 2020, with a world consumed by COVID-19, masks and social distancing, Laura was informed that she had cancer. The initial prognosis would have gutted most of us, with words like “you have six weeks to live,” “get your affairs in order,” “we can keep you comfortable, but we can’t keep you alive.” She rebuked these opinions and prayed for a new path to survive.
Her prayers were answered, with acceptance into a clinical trial at Stanford. She experienced positive early results. What followed, however, was nine months of emotional and physical peaks and valleys from Stanford, to City of Hope, with brief stops home in between, along the way enduring the loss of our father in January. Throughout it all, Laura’s testimony, and will to live would be tested. She inspired an army of dedicated Prayer Warriors and held steadfast in her belief that God wasn’t ready for her yet. She shared the Gospel with her nurses, doctors, and anyone who would listen. She endured immense suffering related to side effects from her treatments with grace and dignity, maintaining her witness, and keeping the faith. Right to the end, Laura believed God would allow a miracle combination of sustained remission and a perfect-match bone marrow donor. Some might say she simply ran out of time, but she would say, “God’s timing is perfect and I’m at peace.”
Laura is survived in death by her loving husband, Darin, and their three intelligent, handsome, and tall sons (Nathaniel, Luke, Mark), her steadfast mother (Deanna), her brothers (John, Mark, Clayton) along with their respective spouses (Celia, Valerie, Julie), her in-laws (Daryl and Susan Hansen), sister and brother in-law (Heidi and Justin Miller), and 9 nephews and 3 nieces across the Millis and Miller families. Laura was preceded in death by her father, Mark.
We will be having a private viewing and burial service at Arroyo Grande Cemetery on June 11.
We hope you can attend a Celebration of Life Memorial for Laura on Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 PM PDT at Thousand Hills Ranch, 500 Thousand Hills Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Laura Millis-Hansen, please visit our floral store.