Rita Lamay Owens

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Rita Lamay Owens (Bray)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
Death: March 21, 2018 (68)
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
Place of Burial: Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry Lee Bray and Private
Ex-wife of Private
Mother of Queen Latifah and Private
Sister of Private User; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other

Occupation: Art teacher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
      ex-spouse
    • daughter
    • Private
      child
    • Private
      parent
    • Private User
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      ex-husband's child

About Rita Lamay Owens

Queen Latifah is saying goodbye to the person she loved the most.

Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, died after struggling with a heart condition for more than a decade, she announced in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. She was 69.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” says Latifah. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldy but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah shares. “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”


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.


In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lancelot H. Owens Foundation, 61 Deans Lane, Monmouth Junction, N.J. 08852.

Published in Star-Ledger from Mar. 25 to Mar. 26, 2018

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Rita Lamay Owens's Timeline

1949
September 28, 1949
Maryland, United States
1970
March 18, 1970
Age 20
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
2018
March 21, 2018
Age 68
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
March 27, 2018
Age 68
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States