Thank you, Cathy
Williston has lost one of its best friends. Cathy Yandell’s passing leaves us a very profound example of citizenship in all its best forms (see obituary, page 16). She was a passionate advocate for the town’s natural resources. By example, she left the town forever undeveloped spaces that future generations of Willistonians will always be grateful for. She was an active proponent of Williston’s special quality of life for more than 60 years. She donated to many more as well. Always rational and good-hearted. Always a store of knowledge and a passionate, educated voice for innumerable worthy causes. Yet, for all the accomplishments, she was never aggressively pushy or raised her voice. She influenced by example, always working right along with the other supporters of a conviction or cause.
For me, she was someone very special indeed. When we kids organized what became known to us as the Brick Church Project in 1963, an attempt to open up a long-abandoned building in the center of town, she became a powerhouse behind the scenes, along with others of her generation—Rev. Ken Moody, Mary Tuthill and many more. They let us kids seem to be the propelling force, while gently and encouragingly leading us in the right direction.
The Brick Church should always be her monument. People should think of her and thank her when they pass by, or use the building. Her son David and his musical groups use it often, to the town’s delight. How wonderfully appropriate.
Many people pass through life without leaving a footprint to ever indicate they lived. Cathy left us many indications that she passed our way. My favorite, the Old Brick Church, stands now as a lovely symbol of Williston Village. A precious architectural gem from the town’s early days. But it might not be there today but for this remarkable woman, and her just as remarkable love of her town.
Thank you, Cathy.