Saturday 18 January 2020
Over 200 people packed the Kelly funeral home on Woodroffe Avenue at a service to pay tribute to Yolanda Wallace, who died 5 January from a single car crash in Kanata. Among them were her siblings, numerous uncles, aunts and nephews and nieces, plus co-workers from OC Transpo. Mourners came from as far away as St. Lucia, Guyana, New York, Toronto and more. The service was conducted by Rev R.J. McEwan.
Friends described Wallace as vibrant and fun-loving, a devoted mother to her two children and an active volunteer in the Caribbean community who also had a passion for her job at OC Transpo. On its Facebook page, the Nepean Eagles football club posted condolences to Wallace’s family.
“Yolanda could be faithfully found on the sidelines proudly cheering on her son, his teammates and friends at every game and for every play. Yolanda’s spirit, kindness and passion will be forever missed.”
Wallace, known as “Empress,” was born on Georgetown, Guyana. The Carivibe festival posted a tribute to Wallace, noting that she was a fixture at Caribbean community events as a dancer and volunteer.
“Everyone knew who she was. If you saw her on the street, you knew who she was,” said a friend. “She was always there to help people.”
Here is how Ottawa’s Black community reacted on Facebook to this tragedy.
Stefan Keyes: The shock has failed to fade even 48 hours later.
Your passing has put our community in deep reflection with feelings of a heavy void. “Yo-Yo” to some….you were “Empress” to me and many others. We’ve shared countless laughs, tore up soca/reggae dance floors together, and simultaneously rolled our eyes without remorse upon witnessing what we commonly referred to as “foolishness.” Fun and joyful with a bit of sass is how I’ll fondly remember you.
Debbie Miller: My heart is so sad, I have no words. Thank you for all that you have done for our community and for being the brightest light in every room you entered!
RIP my Friend❤️