Yvonne Dorothea Brewer was born on September 1, 1969 to John Brewer, Sr. “My Dad” and Gladys Brewer Russell “My Mom” in Jersey City, New Jersey. She was the seventh child of her parents. Her parents worked multiple jobs and ran several businesses to afford Yvonne and her 8 siblings the opportunity to attend Sacred Heart Catholic School for her primary education. Yvonne was introduced to God at a young age and attending church with her family was a major part of her upbringing. As a child, Yvonne enjoyed playing with dolls, dressing up, jumping rope, and playing school with her Irish twin and younger sister, Margaret. As she became older, she began exploring New York City with Margaret and her sister/cousins Annette and Laurnette. Growing up with six older brothers, Yvonne felt protected and she was tough as nails too! Yvonne attended and graduated from Henry Snyder High School in June 1987. Yvonne gave birth to her first child, Tashia, in 1988. Yvonne often reflected on how baby Tashia would cry for ‘cookie-cookie’, ‘chip-chip’, or ‘juice-juice’ and Yvonne would run to the store at any hour of the night to make her happy. She protected and groomed Tashia and taught her to be responsible, compassionate, and was the inspiration behind her obtaining her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, which made her extremely proud.
In 1990 she met her husband, James Nathaniel Scott. James and Yvonne married in 2002. Yvonne and James were not only partners, but the best of friends and were inseparable since they met. They both loved each other dearly and remained together until her departure. Yvonne and James welcomed their second child, Briana, in 1995. Yvonne affectionately called Briana “BB” and “Wootus”. Yvonne imparted her wisdom on Briana and trained her to be self-sufficient and assertive. Dalila “Lala”, their third child, was born three years later in 1998. Dalila was Yvonne’s ‘baby diva’ and “lollipop”. When Dalila was a baby, Yvonne would stare at Dalila, amazed by her beauty and her resemblance to her Nannie. Yvonne enjoyed dressing Briana, Dalila and her niece Natalia, “Kitty” up as triplets and hosting elaborate parties and cookouts. Yvonne and James took pride in being able to purchase their yellow brick house on 263 Stegman street in Jersey City, which became a place of refuge and gathering for her entire family. Yvonne attended Faith Temple Missionary Baptist Church with her family for several years.
To understand Yvonne and her lineage is to know that she hailed from a large, close knit family; where cousins were like siblings and nephews and nieces were like her children. All of her sister Margaret’s children (Paul, Matthew, Natalia and Na’Kye) were like her own and vice versa. They often grew up in the same home and had many vacations and celebrated their birthdays together. Yvonne and Margaret’s relationship were so special and unique that they sometimes had children in the same year and five of their children share the same birthday! Although she loved all of her nieces and nephews, she had a special bond with “Pauly” who she affectionately called John and referred to him as her first born. Yvonne had such unique and specialized relationships with many of her family and loved ones, an entire book could be written
In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Yvonne was a hardworking career woman. She held several jobs and was an invaluable employee. She was a substance abuse counselor at Integrity House in Secaucus, NJ from 1993-1996; She worked as a Social Worker at Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility and was employed as a Supervisor at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility.
Tragedy struck in 2002, when Yvonne was involved in a car accident while 6 months pregnant with her fourth child. In May of that year, she gave birth to a healthy, thriving, baby girl, whom she named Jada. Jada was the “apple” of Yvonne’s eye. Jada laughed often as a baby due to Yvonne singing personalized songs such as ‘fat, fat, funky’. Jada recollected, “Mommy taught me how to cook and inspired me to be a chef; manage my finances; and keep shoes on my feet too!”
Yvonne and James continued to strive towards success together and attended Lincoln University and graduated with their Master’s in Human Services in 2003. Yvonne was able to accomplish this enormous feat while maintain a full time career, caring for her three children and husband, and while pregnant twice during her matriculation through the program. This amazing feat inspired siblings John, Margaret and Micah to pursue their college degrees. One month after graduation, God granted Yvonne’s wish, and she gave birth to twin boys, Jaheem “Poppy” and Jakeem “Manny”. Yvonne loved her boys with all her heart and was protective of them. Manny and Poppy enjoyed spending time watching movies, especially horror movies. With a full house, Yvonne’s mother, Gladys moved in for assistance, which gave Yvonne great pleasure as she shared a strong bond with her mother.
Yvonne was characterized by her larger than life personality. She had a big heart and was a generous person. Her family and close friends were the recipients of her various expressions of love to include cooking, talking, offering advice and guidance over a pot of coffee. Yvonne was brilliant, hilarious, generous, inspirational, courageous, expressive, profound, resourceful, irreplaceable and beloved. As her brother Matthew described “Yvonne was a complex person that one would have to spend many years unraveling the layers of who she was”. Yvonne enjoyed listening to music artists such as Anita Baker and Notorious BIG. If you had the opportunity to ride with her, you’d better buckle up because she would jerk the car at red lights to correspond with the music or play her favorite songs on repeat to the point they’d be etched in your memory forever. Like her father and brother, both named John, Yvonne had an entrepreneur spirit and was a well-known saleswoman. In her spare time, she would often go to NY to purchase the latest fashions, jewelry and other necessities to sell to her family and friends.
Yvonne’s accomplishments were accompanied by adversities. Yvonne faced hardships that some people would find insurmountable, such as being an innocent bystander in a shooting. Yvonne’s resiliency allowed her to continue to strive forward after each hardship. After a lifetime of love and sacrifice, God called Yvonne home on September 26, 2020. She is survived by her husband, James; children, Tashia, Briana, Dalila, Jada, Jaheem and Jakeem; grandchildren, Mia, Leilani and Tristian; mother, Gladys, seven siblings, and host of in laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends. Yvonne will be cherished and engraved in her loved one’s memories forever.
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