Winthrop’s Greatest Cheerleader
A Life devoted to Winthrop High School student-athletes
Yvette Dans, of Winthrop passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 11th at the Glen Ridge Nursing Home in Medford. The beloved and spirited sports fan was 70 years old.
Yvette was born in Belgium and was raised in the Point Shirley section of the close-knit Winthrop community. She was the daughter of the late Emile and Marie Rose Dans (Drockman). She was educated in Winthrop Public Schools and upon graduation in 1967, would go to work for 30 years for New England Telephone Company.
From her youth. arriving in Winthrop, she was an devout Boston sports fan, especially a Boston Celtics fan, during their dynasty. She would eventually become a season Celtic ticket holder, getting to know many of the Celtics personally. She loved calling sports radio shows to talk about her beloved Celtics or her beloved Winthrop High School Athletes.
Her real love, cheerleading for Winthrop High School teams, started by watching the 1963 Winthrop Men States Championship Basketball team and then Winthrop’s 1964, 8-1 football season, the team coached by Ed McFarland. She also cheered for WHS Football Coaches DeFelice, Fucillo, Driscoll and Cadigan. For the next 50 years she would attend nearly every boys and girls athletic event at Winthrop High School. Yvette would be a fixture on the sidelines with her Viking sweater, her megaphone and cow bell cheering on her Viking Athletes with the WHS cheerleaders and the home-town fans. Every WHS men’s and women’s Freshman, JV and Varsity coach knew Yvette would be at their games.
During the 1970’s Winthrop’s Mens Basketball Coach Henry McCarthy allowed Yvette to ride on the team bus to games. Yvette would prepare sandwiches for the entire basketball team. Even though she didn’t have a driver’s license, she attended almost every home and away game for every sport. Somehow, she managed get a ride to and from the games: team bus, friend’s car, willing Viking parent’s cars, taxi rides, or public transportation.
Yvette was at the Boston Garden in 1976 for WHS Division 1 Hockey Title led by Coach Falasca; that was easy to attend because she could travel the Blue Line.
During the 1980’s she cheered Coach DeFelice’s Winthrop Football Team to a record 33-0. She cheered on Coach Ron Spinney’s 1984 Girls State Softball Championship Team. She attended hundreds of WHS sporting events: cheering and supporting every-one of her favorite female and male athletes. She cheered her family of athletes through the 90’s into the new century, the 2000 seasons. Yvette attended the 2006 State Championship Football Game and followed the 1995 and 2011 Boys State Championship basketball teams, as well as the 1994 and 2015 Girls championship basketball teams that made it to the Boston Garden. Every WHS female and male athlete, in every sport, remembers looking to the sidelines into the stands and seeing Yvette cheering for them. Her legendary support for her WHS athlete did not end at high school, if she knew a Winthrop athlete was playing nearby at college, she would show up at his / hers college sporting event.
Winthrop Transcript sports writers would write about how she was Winthrop’s Number 1 Fan. The Transcript covered her greatest honor when she was inducted into the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Yvette was a most caring and thoughtful person, always remembering hundreds of Viking athlete’s birthdays and other special occasions by sending them cards or thoughtful gifts. She loved attending athletic banquets, holiday celebrations, proms, senior nights, weddings, reunions and other special occasions. She especially enjoyed WHS graduation parties, with her Viking’s and their families. She was welcomed and loved by so many of Winthrop’s families. She was an avid reader always reading the Winthrop Transcript and Lynn Item to follow her Viking athletes. She tried to support her Irish friends to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with some corned beef and cabbage, or eating latkes with her Jewish friends during Hanukkah, Thanksgiving with her football players or Christmas Eve with an Italian traditional feast of the seven fishes or Easter with the Greeks eating roasted lamb.
Yvette was in the WHS graduating class of 1967. She loved her fellow classmates and loved attending their special class reunions.
Yvette will join other WHS Viking Heroes in the majestic enormous hall in Valhalla chanting the famous Winthrop Cheer:
Were from Winthrop High School.
How do you do.
We came right over just to sing this song to you.
Marching on to battle smiling faces all. We’re with you
by your side so let’s playball.
Yvette will forever be remembered as the Number One Viking fan and she will never be out of our hearts and minds; as Yvette always cheered:
V-I-K-I-N-G-S VIKINGS ARE THE VERY BEST!
Family and friends are cordially invited to attend the visitation from the funeral home on Monday, February 17, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The funeral will be conducted from the funeral home on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM followed by a funeral mass in St. John the Evangelist Church 320 Winthrop St., Winthrop at 10:00 AM. Committal will be private.
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