San Francisco park renamed after grandmother who was fatally beaten: 'Hope and resilience'

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, June 16, 2024
SF park renamed after grandmother who was fatally beaten
The Yik Oi Huang Peace and Friendship Park was renamed after the grandmother who was beaten there in 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There was a celebration of triumph over tragedy in San Francisco where a city park officially got a new name Saturday.

The Yik Oi Huang Peace and Friendship Park is named after the grandmother who was beaten there in 2019. She later died from her injuries. Relatives and community advocates want the new name to promote community healing.

It's a new name and a new beginning for this city park in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley.

Sasanna Yee talked about her grandmother, Yik Oi Huang, for whom this park is named. The official dedication taking place on Saturday.

"It's been a very hard journey, very painful but also very beautiful," Yee said.

RELATED: 88-year old woman brutally beaten in San Francisco park, granddaughters seek change

Yee said her 88-year-old grandmother came to this park, formally Visitacion Valley Playground, almost every day but in January of 2019, she was found badly beaten here and died months later from her injuries. The crime rocked the Asian Community. A 24-year-old suspect was arrested and is awaiting trial.

"She is survived by great-grandchildren and grandchildren, so having everyone come together as a family is really important," Yee said.

Many hope the Yik Oi Huang Peace and Friendship Park will be a place of healing.

"I know it wasn't easy. You turned a devastating loss into a win," said Hermione Colthirst.

Relatives say renaming the park was originally the idea of community advocate Ronald Colthirst, who died last year.

RELATED: 89-year-old grandma, who was brutally attacked on San Francisco playground, dies 1 year later

"He would bring the African Americans and the Asians together as one. One of his legacies was to make sure we renamed this park," said sister Brejea Colthirst.

"This is a true story of turning tragedy into triumph and making people understand we are better together," said San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed hopes generations to come will know Grandma Huang's name.

"It's symbol of hope, resilience for communities come together in times of challenge," said Mayor London Breed.

Grandma Huang's family hopes all will know peace and friendship when visiting here.

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