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Yvonne India Hamlett was born on August 28, 1958 in Brooklyn NY to parents Horace and Louise Hamlett. She is the eldest of three children, her younger brothers are Blaine and Donnie (Saungkh) Hamlett. Even as a child Yvonne always was very caring and had a great love for animals and helping others. She could always be depended on to care for her siblings and even saved her brother Saungkh from a vicious dog attack as a baby. Yvonne was an outstanding student and a creative person, with a passion for art, cooking and fashion design. She attended and graduated with honors from North Babylon Sr. High School in 1975. At just 16 she attended Howard University where she majored in Pre-Med. Although she was initially drawn to pre-med to continue the families legacy in medicine, she just couldn’t tolerate “the stinky baby sharks in formaldehyde” that were used for dissection in her anatomy and physiology classes.
After spending a few years in college Yvonne entered the work force. She loved the excitement of Wall Street and she would go on to distinguish herself as a Sr. Bond Research Analyst at Kidder, Peabody & Co. She was the first black woman to hold that role in the company. After more than a decade of working in the bond industry, she decided to start a catering company with friends specializing in African American and Caribbean Cuisine. When Yvonne wasn’t focused on business or family she loved visiting museums, dancing, fashion, dining and traveling. She always found freedom and self-expression in music and dance. On the weekends she loved to dance to house music at the famous Paradise Garage club in the village.
Yvonne was a very spiritual person, always in search of a deeper understanding of God and the divine principles that govern life. She grew up as a Christian and would later become a member of the Church of Christ in an effort to develop a better understanding of how to use scripture and prayer to be more Christ like. She also became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. In the mid 90’s she began to look beyond Christianity and was drawn to the study of African and Kamitic Spiritual Sciences with the Ausar Auset Society (AAS). After several years of classes with AAS and becoming an active member of their community, Yvonne took on the spiritual name of Kefta A. Neter, which means I am the image of God. Although she never had an official name change, this is the name that she preferred to be called by family and friends.
In the late 90’s Quick Social Services Inc. (QSS), an organization focused on providing housing and person centered care for developmentally disabled adults, invited Kefta to join the company as the Program Director. As Program Director she was responsible for managing two houses on Long Island with more than 14 individuals and 20 employees. Relative to other New York State housing programs for the developmentally disabled Kefta did an unprecedented job of ensuring that residents in her house were provided with a caring and loving homelike environment. Two unfortunate events occurred within a short time span, that would change the type of care giver she would eventually become. Yvonne’s mother unexpectedly had a stroke in 2014 and QSS was forced to close its doors in 2016 due to funding issues. She decided not to return to the workforce and transitioned to becoming the primary care giver for her mother, assisting her with cooking, cleaning, shopping, self-care, transportation and medical appointments.
Kefta is a supportive and loving sister and daughter. Always willing to sacrifice her time, money and personal resources to ensure her families happiness and well-being. It would be hard to find a better example of an aunt than Auntie Kefta. Any visit with Auntie Kefta was guaranteed to include your favorite foods and/or meals served with laughter and love. Her physical presence will be missed but her spirit of love and, giving will continue to influence our family forever. Our beloved Kefta is survived by her Mother Louise Hamlett, brothers Blaine and Donnie (Saungkh) Hamlett, nieces Ariana and Menusasen Hamlett, nephews Blaine, Ankh khu ab, Enensa Mten and Senti Abu Hamlett, and her grandnieces Alina Rose Hamlett and Alana Hamlett.