There was never a person that was turned down for help by Yolanda Joyce Hughes. After a short aggressive illness, she transitioned peacefully on Sunday, February 6, 2022, with her family at her side. She was 58. Within a span of her short amazing years on this earth, this phenomenal woman found a way to leave an indelible mark on the life of every person she touched. She had that same amazing smile and attitude every time you saw her, and you didn’t have to guess which Yolanda you were going to get.
The unforgettable moment in time was July 3, 1963; it was then that Yolanda, the second of four children bestowed upon Reverend J.E. and Helen Hughes made her grand entrance into the world in Arkadelphia Arkansas. Upon her birth, she was laying down looking at Helen with those big signature eyes, and her mother said “look at her just laying there like a little lady”, hence her nickname “Ladie”.
Yolanda was a 1981 graduate of Malvern High School and participated in several extracurricular activities such as being a flutist in the band and runner-up in the 1981 Miss Alpha Gems pageant. She excelled as a student and was always serious about furthering her education. She enrolled at Henderson State for two years and finished her education at South Central Career College in Little Rock Arkansas with a degree in fashion merchandising. Her dreams were to move to New York and work in the fashion designing industry, however, after working years of retail (which she hated) Mary Wildgen, the owner of RSVP Catering offered her the opportunity to manage the company. She worked 20 years for Mary and when she was ready to retire in 2003, Yolanda was ready to take over as owner and put her spin on it.
RSVP Catering targets primarily central Arkansas, but has done events as far away as Texas and Memphis. She kept a call list of about 18 workers to match the ebb and flow of events, which included KATV 7 Women’s Expo, Bristol’s Bridal Expo, UAMS Midsouth Black Expo, ADG Bridal Show, as well as, events for the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center all while serving as the exclusive caterer for Lafayette Building. Notably, she catered both of William Bill Clinton's presidential inaugurations.
Yolanda married briefly and didn’t physically conceive any children however, there are countless nieces’ nephews, cousins, friends’ children that she has spoiled rotten. She was a great person that enjoyed living life and being independent. She loved spending time with her “boys” and “girls” and making sure that they were okay. It was common to come into her immaculately decorated house and find her listening to jazz and sipping on some wine which she would stop immediately to make sure you were fed.
To know her was to love her. Although she is no longer present in her body, her sweet memory and irreplaceable presence will never be forgotten. She was preceded in death by her parents, J.E. Hughes; Helen Flannigan; Jimmy Flannigan; and her beloved brother, Jeffrey.
Yolanda leaves an indelible imprint on the hearts and minds of many people who learned from her and aspired for greater because of how she managed her life.
She proved how greatness is achieved.
A lifetime of love and memories will be felt by her siblings, April S. Hughes of Maumelle, AR, Elizabeth Harvey of Stuttgart AR, and Irving B. Hughes of Memphis TN; an uncle, Daniel Hughes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; nieces, Kayla Brown and Skylarr Hughes; nephews, Justin Murphy of Little Rock, AR and Marques Hughes of Maumelle, AR; great-nieces and nephews, Caleb T. Haynes, Cayden J. Brown, Finis Brown, and Reign Brown; her goddaughters, Caress Bell of North Little Rock, and Payton Peebles Hartford of Little Rock, AR; her bonus sister, Tonya Peebles of Little Rock, AR, her other mother, Mary Wildgen who was there to end, also countless aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Submitted by the Family
A service in honor of her life will be shared on Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at the Rusty Tractor Vineyards, 10 Rusty Tractor Ln., Little Rock, AR 72210. Services are entrusted to Williams Funeral Home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Floral deliveries may be made to the Rusty Tractor Vineyards on Friday, February 25, 2022, from 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until noon.