On May 3, local chef and community fixture Erica Alleyne passed away in her hometown of Roanoke, VA. The 32-year-old leaves behind her older brother Kori and her mother and father.
Alleyne was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Since then, the disease spread to her bones causing her major back pain. She moved from Washington, D.C. back to Roanoke with her family to get the care she needed.
“She loved the D.C. area. Even when she was sick, she refused to come home, until she got really sick and couldn’t work,” says Kori.
Alleyne was a general manager and Chef at Healthy Bites in D.C. and a personal chef for her own business Tailored Cuisine. According to her friends, cooking was her true passion.
“The thing [I remember] was her passion for her work. Every time I posted a picture of food on Facebook, we automatically would have conversations about cooking. She had a very positive and friendly spirit that I will miss,” says Flaminia Garioni.
When the news of Alleyne’s passing spread, the one word that continued to pop up was her “smile”. Many entertainers, promoters, and community leaders remembered how supportive she was to LGBTQ events and causes.
“Erica was one of the most positive people I’d ever met. She always had a smile on her face and saw every cloud’s silver lining,” says long-time friend Lauren Morton. “I was blessed to have known her and call her a friend.”
Though Alleyne didn’t live close to her brother, her passing has connected him with the LGBTQ community and the numerous people that mourn her loss.
“Right now I feel good because I know my sister is in a better place. She is able to be free. She wasn’t here a long time, but left a huge impact. I’m overwhelmed by the texts and calls. She was a sweet girl. I wish I could have spent more time with her,” says Kori.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m. at the New Life Christian Ministries located at 5745 Airport Rd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012.