Alton My Just Desserts owner dies in external collision

Yvonne Campbell

Yvonne Campbell

Submitted

The beloved owner of the popular My Just Desserts restaurant on the East Metro has died from injuries sustained in a head-on collision in Jamaica on Saturday.

Yvonne Campbell, 44, was on vacation when the accident occurred in Hanover, Jamaica. Campbell was among seven people on a tour bus that collided directly with a truck on Orange Bay Road, according to an article in the Jamaica Observer, a local newspaper and website.

The account says that eight passengers were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Six of the injured were tourists.

Campbell’s death was announced Wednesday on the Facebook page of her popular restaurant, My Just Desserts in Alton.

“Anyone who knows her, loves her and knows how much bright light she brings into every room she enters,” reads the post on Facebook. “No one will ever bake a pie, cobbler or cake as good as it. Please allow us to grievance at this time. We will be closing our doors until further notice and let everyone know when we will be back. Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers, this is a ruin for all.”

The outpouring of audience for her death was immediate. In the Facebook post alone, there were nearly 700 comments, and the post was shared 659 times.

Campbell started working at My Just Desserts as a child.

“She’s been working there since she was 14,” said Alton Mayor David Goins. “The owner retired and I gifted her the store.”

Goins has known Campbell since she was a child, and his wife is a close friend.

Goins said the last time he saw Campbell was while he was visiting his office about a week ago. The meeting was supposed to be this week, but she confused the dates. I brought cookies to the mayor, his secretary, and his chief of staff. The mayor said he was glad for the mistake.

“Looking back, this was our chance to say goodbye because we didn’t know we saw each other for the last time,” the mayor said.

He called Campbell’s death a “terrible and tragic loss” to society.

“She has willingly given her talent, time and treasure to society in so many ways. We will really miss her,” Goins said.

He said Campbell “dealt with her customers. She wasn’t just in the back. She was going out and talking to her customers. She wanted to make sure everything was okay with the food.”

He said she had a passion for what she was doing, and she touched the lives of so many people with her smile and her hugs.

“It meant a lot to a lot of people,” he said.

In an interview before Campbell’s death was announced, Lexi Groves, a restaurant employee and friend, described Campbell as ‘the best kind of person, who was wonderful to work with’.

“She’s a big believer in hugs and smiles, and she’s never let her bad day ruin anyone else’s day,” Grove said. “She was always there to put a smile on everyone else’s face.

“My sweets wouldn’t be what they are today without her ownership. People come here specifically to see Yvonne and get a hug. It’s a bright light in our community,” Groves said.

Groves, who was speaking on behalf of the Campbell family, said in a text message after Campbell’s death was announced that she was distraught from speaking on the phone.

Family and friends started a Go Fund Me account to help pay for her medical expenses prior to her death, including returning her to the United States for treatment.

“The Go Fund Me (account) is still raising money for all expenses her family will need,” Groves stated in her text.

She stated that the business will now be temporarily closed to give employees and family time to grieve.

“We were all devastated. This is an incredible loss for so many people,” Groves wrote.

This story was originally published July 13, 2022 2:32 pm.

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