Rita Lamae <I>Bray</I> Owens

Rita Lamae Bray Owens

Birth
Death 21 Mar 2018 (aged 67–68)
New Jersey, USA
Burial Cremated
Memorial ID 188207169 · View Source
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Rita Owens, the mother of Queen Latifah (birth name Dana Owens) and former New Jersey resident and restaurateur, died Wednesday after a long battle with a heart condition, according to multiple reports. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said in a statement to People. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.” During her life Owens, who lived in Wayne, was ingrained in New Jersey culture. She previously co-owned Mangos soul food and Caribbean restaurant on Main Street in Hackensack. Run with Annette Coleman, Mangos served several pro basketball players when it opened in 2006. Owens sang with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Jubilation Choir in the soprano section. She appeared in a 2016 video with Queen Latifah for the American Heart Association as part of the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative to start a dialogue. Latifah spoke about how Owens was always there for her and inspired her after Owens' diagnosis. Rita's parents were Henry Lee Bray and Katherine Viola Waters. Rita was previously married to Lancelot Amos Owens.

Official obituary from family.

Rita L. Owens Beloved mother, daughter and sister, retired art teacher Rita L. Owens of Wayne, N.J., made her transition on March 21, 2018. Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 27, from 4 to 9 p.m., at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 149-152 Springfield Ave., Newark, N.J. 07103. Service and interment are private. Arrangements are by Whigham Funeral Home. Rita was a 1980 graduate of Kean College and a retired art teacher for the Irvington Board of Education. She was also a dedicated member of the Petra Baptist Church of Montclair, N.J. She was the beloved daughter of Katherine V. Bray and the late Henry L. Bray Sr.; loving and devoted mother of Dana E. Owens, Raven Cruz-Owens and the late Lancelot H. Owens; caring sister of Angela Sheppard, Richard Bray Sr., Henry L. Bray Jr., Jimmy Bray, Phillip Bray and Robert Bray.


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  • Created by: Mary Cummins
  • Added: 21 Mar 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 188207169
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rita Lamae Bray Owens (1950–21 Mar 2018), Find A Grave Memorial no. 188207169, ; Maintained by Mary Cummins (contributor 48205043) Cremated.