The thing you noticed most about Wendy Jocelyn Collado was her radiant smile. That could be why she was the first person hired by Eileen Andrade for her restaurant, Finka Table & Tap, two years ago.
Collado's young life ended early Sunday morning. According to the chef and restaurateur, Collado was driving home in the vicinity of SW 142nd Street and Sunset Drive when her car lost control and hit a tree.
According to Andrade, the 25-year-old was an integral part of the Finka team. "Everyone knew who she was. She was happy-go-lucky and really funny." Andrade remembers that Collado was especially good at making everyone around her feel special. "She made sure her guests were having fun. Everyone who sat with her left in a good mood. Her vibe was infectious."
Collado, who celebrated her birthday last month, was a multifaceted woman who enjoyed helping others. She did much charity work, both local and abroad. Andrade points out a trip to Africa to help people. Collado also had an artistic side. "She loved poetry and the arts," says Andrade, who also has one very personal story to share about Collado. "She's actually the person who brought my girlfriend and me together."
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Collado's family has put together a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. Andrade, who is sharing the page, says she wants Wendy's service to be "as nice as it can be." The page simply says:
We have started this fund to support Wendy's family in this time of grief who passed away early this morning in a car accident it's an unfortunate event please support her family more details will be released in the days to come.
Services for Wendy Collado will be held Saturday, September 17, at Salvation Army Church, 8445 Sunset Dr., Miami, from 3 to 8 p.m.
As for the Finka family losing one of its own, Andrade says it's still a shock. "We don't know how to react." But, she adds, Collado and her smile will be remembered. "She had a happy spirit. Her vibe was so energetic and so beautiful."