AUSTIN (KXAN) – The sudden death of a well-known Bastrop food truck owner and restaurant has gained widespread support from loyal friends and customers in the community.

55-year-old Yolanda “Yoli” DeLeon, owner of Yoli’s Tacos and More Catering, died on Tuesday from complications related to COVID-19.

Yolanda "Yoli" DeLeon (Courtesy: Kerry Fossler)
Yolanda “Yoli” DeLeon (Courtesy: Kerry Fossler)

For the past few days, people have gathered in her truck stationed on Chestnut Road to lay flowers, write support messages and share stories with each other. DeLeon’s business, which served authentic Mexican food, won the “Best of Bastrop” three years in a row.

“There’s nothing more exciting than hearing your name collected by Yoli from that window, knowing you’re going to eat your food in the next 30 seconds,” said family friend Kerry Fossler. “Food was her language of love.”

Those who visited the growing memorial on Friday called it welcoming, comforting and loving to all who stopped by its business. A neighbor said the DeLeon family gave their first introduction to Bastrop when they relocated years ago.

“You can’t quantify what a conversation with someone like that means until it disappears, and you can’t do it,” Chris White said. “I can not express how comforting and loving they are. All of them, as a family. ”

Some friends said a lesson should be learned about DeLeon’s death. Bastrop County is behind when it comes to vaccinating its citizens. According to the Texas State Department of Health Services, only 57% of those eligible in the county have at least one COVID-19 vaccine. By comparison, Travis County stands slightly below 72%.

Yolanda "Yoli" DeLeon (Courtesy: Kerry Fossler)
Yolanda “Yoli” DeLeon (Courtesy: Kerry Fossler)

Close family friends say that after her death, DeLeon’s surviving family has changed its mind and will be vaccinated.

“There is a whole new wave of inspiration to be vaccinated, because for what stronger call do we need awakening?” Tha Fossler.

“We do not need another sign like this to remind us that it is important to take care,” White said.

The Bastrop County Emergency Management Office says it is using social media to provide information to citizens on how to find a vaccine. DSHS is also organizing some back-school vaccination events for families in local school districts.

As for the future of the restaurant, the family has shared with KXAN it will remain open as a tribute to Yoli DeLeon “based on the outpouring of love and stories of influence from the community”.

Funeral services will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 31 at the Providence Funeral Home in Bastrop. Burial will continue at Fairview Cemetery. The visit will be held from 4 to 8 pm on Friday, July 30th.