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Stella Youtsey

Stella Susan (Lakatos) Youtsey was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 7, 1960 and departed this life on July 22, 2019, in Marion, IL.

Stella passed peacefully at home with her husband, Brad; sister, Catherine; and family friend, Nash at her side.  Stella is survived her husband, Bradley Youtsey, her five siblings – David, Catherine, James, John, and Vincent Lakatos.  She is also survived by her two sons, Joseph and Jonathan Smiley; as well as many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Stella was an independent, spirited person who lived life on her terms. To her husband, she was his soulmate, his partner, and the love of his life.  As a parent, she instilled a sense of love, family, hard-work, and honesty in her boys.  As a sister to her siblings, she was a complex person – fiercely loyal, loving, brave, stubborn, a trickster and yes, sometimes a pain! Stella was always honest with people and spoke her mind without hesitation. Her friends describe Stella as a hugger – “the best hugs ever given by a person were given by Stella.”  Her friends say she always looked for and found the good in others, would give you her last dollar, and was a generous person. She was a fast friend for life! 

The best word to describe Stella is LOVE! Stella loved with all her heart. Her greatest love was her husband, Brad.  For him, it was love at first sight. Her long blonde hair, blue eyes, her smile, her aura, and her presence stole his heart. They were together for eighteen years. Brad often said that, “she was the only woman strong enough to be my wife.” Their love was evident to all who met them. 

Stella loved music and became an avid fan of the blues.  Her favorite places to listen to blues were the Blue Front Café in Bentonia, MS and the Bluesberry Café in Clarksdale, MS. Particularly special in her life was the owner of the Blue Front Café, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. He would often play just for her so he could see her smile. While sitting on the front porch, Stella and Jimmy would often enjoy a quiet smoke and a beer. The “Duck” would often remark on the bond and love he felt between Brad and Stella. When Stella became wheelchair bound, Jimmy would reserve front row seating for her so she could see the performances.  Whenever they would leave to go home, the “Duck” would give Stella a big hug goodbye, always telling her not to cry. Many of the performers commented on how much she loved the blues, and that her energy helped them perform better! She touched the lives of many of the performers, including Tito Deler, the original Harlem Slim who wrote a song for Stella called, “The Butterflies of Bentonia.”

The Bluesberry Café was another special place in Stella’s heart, and owners Arthur and Carol always loved Stella. Again, when she became wheelchair bound, they made an area for her to listen to the performers. Massimo Bevilacqua and Gloria Turrini wrote a song celebrating the love Stella and Brad have for each other, “Money Goes, Love Stays.”  Stella loved all the musicians and appreciated their talent, and the love they shared with her for the blues.

Although our hearts are filled with sorrow at your leaving, we know that loved ones on the other side of the veil are rejoicing. Our hearts are filled with joy knowing that one day we will all be together once again listening to the Blues!

“Take my hand sweet mama.

Let’s make some memories today.

So when Jesus calls you, I’ll keep them with me every day.”

(Butterflies in Bentonia – Tito Deler)

A Celebration of Life was held on August 3, 2019.  Blue Funeral Home in Marion assisted the family with arrangements.

In lieu of plants or flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to Hospice of Southern IL


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