IN MEMORY OF VESTANA WOLLOS
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend, Ms. Vestana Wollos. Ms. Wollos, born in 1912, on the very corner the Park South YMCA sits on today, has been a fixture at the Y for over 20 years.
Known for her caring spirit and warm smile Ms. Wollos could be found sitting at her post, the lobby of the Park South Y, greeting all those who entered. In 1968 Mayor Eric Johnson posed a million-dollar challenge grant to the businesses and citizens of South Dallas to build the Park South YMCA. In true servant leadership fashion, Ms. Wollos stepped up and donated her land to clear the way for the Y. It is no stretch to say that without Ms. Wollos, the Park South YMCA may not exist today. Over the last 45 years Ms. Wollos’ gift has helped provide a safe, healthy place in the neighborhood for thousands of children and families to learn, grow and thrive.
To Ms. Wollos the Y was a place to see her friends and watch the wonderful things happening in her community. An active member, Ms. Wollos loved participating in arts and crafts, Bible study and a bit of exercise as part of her routine at the YMCA. Described by those who knew her as a “social butterfly”, Ms. Wollos attended the Texas Division Older Adult Camp held at Camp Hoblitzelle for around 20 years, winning prom queen at the age of 106!
“Ms. Wollos represented living. Very few people in communities devastated by years of systemic inequity that cause health disparities see people who live to be in their 100’s.” said Rodrigua Ross, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “Ms. Wollos and her vibrancy were a reminder of what is possible. She personified longevity, and we all need that reminder. We loved her and she loved us right back.”
For her commitment to the community in 2014 Ms. Wollos was honored with the George L. Allen Distinguished Leadership Award. When asked why the Y was so important to her, she replied, “You want to do something to help somebody else along life’s way. And this is part of my life; I like to help people if I can.” The YMCA, and the children and families of the Park South community were blessed to have had Ms. Wollos a part of our family.
A memorial service for Ms. Wollos will be held Wednesday, September 29 2021, 1:00 PM at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 3611 Latimer St., Dallas, TX 75215