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Death of newborn gives birth to namesake of Yvette Royal’s beauty services
The Post-Gazette takes a contemporary look at black history, as we spotlight Pittsburgh’s African American trailblazers.
First in a series.
Butterflies appeared to be everywhere.
“This has to be a sign,” 48-year-old Yvette Royal said.
The beautiful insects seemed to visit several friends and family members near the hospital, burial site and other random places following the death of newborn Anastasia Renee Pender in May 1997. She died shortly after being born premature at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland.
The death left those present emotional as they crowded the hospital room, especially Ms. Royal’s sister, Yvonne McKinnon. For Ms. McKinnon, it was the loss of her second-born child. Although Anastasia did not survive being born early, the family’s pastor provided encouragement that another child would soon come. There was sadness, but a “peace filled the atmosphere” for faith that God would provide, Ms. Royal recalled.