When there’s a tragedy in Cortez, the community comes together.
That was clear on Saturday as hundreds came out to celebrate the life of Holly Lynn Buffington-Yake, who died in a car crash in rural Archuleta County on Dec. 16.
“We all know Holly would want us to not be sad,” Wendy Lindsay, best friend of Buffington-Yake, said. “Holly would want us to celebrate and laugh, tell a good memory and love her family.”
According to friends and family, Buffington-Yake knew how to have a good time. She was tough as nails and would never let anyone stand in her way. She was caring and gave great advice. She was beautiful, but didn’t know how beautiful she was. And she loved wrestling.
“She was huge in wrestling,” Lindsay said. “Her son is a champion. All four kids were active in wrestling. Nobody had to help take care of those babies because they were well taken care of.”
Buffington-Yake was known for attending every wrestling match and cheering on her kids. Her husband, Richard Yake, founded the Mighty Lightning Wrestling Club. The husband, wife and five children were returning from a wrestling meet at Thunder Ridge High School, in Douglas County south of Denver, when the crash occurred. Three children in the vehicle were injured.
The word “love” came to mind when Robert Cooper, Buffington-Yake’s uncle, recalled memories of his niece. He said every time he saw Buffington-Yake she told him, “I love you.”
“How many did she tell you guys that? She loved you guys, she really did and today is a celebration of her life,” Cooper said. “I’m going to miss her. I’m going to miss that love.”
He said Buffington-Yake was there for everybody — day and night.
Buffington-Yake is survived by four children, her parents, her husband and two siblings. She was 33.