Family celebrate life of Alton business owner after bus crash

Yvonne Campbell’s family reopened their business, My Just Desserts, for the first time today since her death.

ALTON, Ill. — A Metro East business reopened for the first time today since its owner died after his tour bus crashed while vacationing in Jamaica.

My Just Desserts was open for take out and for the community to pay tribute.

Nakiyah Jackson is one of countless people in Alton trying to make sense of the death of her mother, Yvonne Campbell.

“To know my mother was to love her,” Jackson said. “I sat with myself multiple times a day just saying I can’t believe this is my life, that I have to live without my mom.”

Jackson was vacationing with his mother and other family and friends when his life changed forever. Their tour bus crashed and eventually Campbell died.

“Going to Jamaica and having to leave without my mom was heartbreaking,” Jackson said.

Jackson and his family have nothing but memories and a connection to what Campbell loved most.

“She had one goal in life and that was to open this restaurant,” her older sister LaJuana Morris said, “and that’s exactly what she did.”

On Sunday, Jackson and other family members opened the restaurant for take-out dessert orders and for the community to have a reason to be together. My Just Desserts opened its doors to lots of hugs, tears and even laughter as people celebrated the role this space plays in their lives.

“It’s the My Just Desserts rule, order dessert first, every time. You have to do it,” Jackson said.

Even with the possibility of carrying on Campbell’s legacy, those close to him say it does not fill the void that remains.

“It’s a tough thing,” said her mother-in-law, Ophelia Jackson. “But we will get there.”

For Nakiyah Jackson, her mother’s death is what now fuels her own life.

“She equipped me with everything I needed in this life, and I’ll be sure my brother and sister will get the same,” she said.

As the family prepares for the potential reopening, they are doing all they can to reach out to the community.

Nakiyah Jackson said they were working with another company in Alton to make t-shirts with her mother’s famous saying on them: “Order dessert first”.

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