A few weeks ago, we lost one of the Beach community’s most passionate supporters of cultural enrichment. The inimitable Dolores Yost passed away on February 6th at the tender age of 84.
A few islanders who knew and volunteered alongside Dolores over the years had many happy, funny stories about the raspy-voiced champion of the Mound House and the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival, who created beautiful bead bouquets for her friends, who bragged about her beloved daughter Helene and her music as only a mother could, who cared about the children at the Beach School and at Bay Oaks and demonstrated it by giving her time. She was one of those people who lived ‘out loud’ and really walked her talk.
About one thing all who knew her agree – Dolores was not shy about expressing her feelings and opinions; one always knew where one stood with Mrs. Yost.
Mayor Anita Cereceda says Dolores was a woman of substance. In a recent text she writes: “She was a force to be reckoned with! You could not tell her ‘no’ for anything she asked of you. Her dedication to this community was tireless. I loved her and will remember her always.”
Long-time Friends of the Mound House member and benefactor, former town mayor Dan Hughes, remembers her relentless work toward the acquisition of the Mound House for the Town. “She and Ollie Curran (Hair by Ollie) took a petition around the neighborhood (Dolores and her husband Roy lived in the impacted area).” Dan says Dolores was one of the very first docents at the historic site. “She was very enthusiastic about it,” adding, “She was a nice lady; very devoted and very smart.”
Ceel Spuhler, another stalwart supporter of the Mound House, chuckled over memories about this much-loved and respected islander. “At the opening ceremony, Dolores was called to stand up with all the dignitaries. It was just so great – it made her very happy.” And, seated at the table with all the powers-that-be from around the county who were present for the ceremony, Ceel recalls that Dolores seemed to know everyone and what they were about.
Sometimes Dolores could get very worked up over her pet issues. “I remember one council meeting,” Spuhler tells with a chuckle. Apparently, there would be times when Ceel would advocate for a milder delivery. “But as she was going up there, she said to me, sitting across the room, ‘You’re too far away to pull on my sweater!’ A rebel with a cause!
No doubt her enthusiasm, depthless humor, and at times, her in-your-face approach, will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
You really made a difference, Dolores. Thank you.