In Memoriam

Dr. Yvonne Lee Callaway

by User Not Found | Sep 08, 2015

Growing up on the north end of Detroit, Yvonne was reared with love, Christian values, and a strong focus on education. She often quoted and told stories of the many lessons her mother and late grandmother, Cassie L. Render, taught her. 

Yvonne was a proud 1968 graduate of Detroit Northern High School. She continued her education at the University of Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She completed graduate work at Wayne State University, earning a Master's in Counselor Education, and later a Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (1991).

While earning her doctorate, she developed a bond with a group of four other doctoral students. The Minority Women's Network was formed to support each other through the degree process. More than 20 years since obtaining that degree, the group has maintained a close relationship through travel, friendship, and support.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Yvonne's professional career began at Ford Motor Company. However her true calling was working with young people: mentoring, teaching, and counseling. She worked at a community youth center and, at Wayne State University, in a program geared toward helping students overcome obstacles to earning degrees.

She ultimately joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University where for the past twenty years, she served in the College of Education and Leadership and Counseling department. Yvonne's interest and expertise was in diversity, group work, and group-based school counseling.  She was a sought after speaker, providing presentations at national and local conferences, and also served as a consultant to Oakland schools.

Yvonne positively impacted the lives of so many young adults. Not only students, but children of family and friends. She served many years as the advisor to the Black Student Union at EMU. And although she primarily taught graduate level courses, she advised and assisted many undergraduate students who never had her as an instructor. She was a fearless advocate who fought tirelessly for their success at any level.

Yvonne had limited leisure time but she managed to be an avid reader and a talented doll maker.  She loved travel, shopping, and fine dining.  She traveled throughout the U.S. as well as Africa, China, Ecuador, and Jamaica to name a few.

Yvonne was a loving, caring, and dedicated daughter, friend, teacher, mentor, leader, confidant, and counselor whose radiant smile and infectious laughter will live in our hearts forever.

She was preceded in death by her father Robert Callaway. She leaves to celebrate her life and mourn her passing: her mother, Helen Callaway; aunt and uncle, Haroldine and Raymond Irby; aunt, Willa Smith; godmother, Margaret Lilley; and a host of relatives, extended family (including the Richardson family, Inkster family, North End family, Chicago family), friends, and loved ones who she cherished as family.


  1. 2 Denorris Bo Graham 17 Feb
    I am so sorry to hear of her passing today 2-16-16, we graduated from High School together. I had a special affection for her and feel horrible that we did not stay in touch. Rest in peace forever your friend  Bo . 
  2. 1 Deedra Climer 12 Jul
    I learned of Dr. Callaway's passing just today as I was researching the spelling of her name so that I could cite her on a blog post.Her class changed me. She lit a fire in me to talk honestly with other white people about racism that I will carry with me always. 

    Dr. Callaway, you are with the ancestors watching over us, guiding us and teaching us now as you always have. You are my hero.

    Deedra M. Climer


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