Obituary of Elizabeth Clarita Faulk
Elizabeth Clarita Faulk (affectionately called “Goy” by family and “Rita” by her loyal friends) was one of three children born to Charles and Gwendolyn Faulk. She was born on April 22, 1961, in Newark, New Jersey. Rita graduated from Arts High School and attended Middlesex Community College before transferring to Essex County College.
In 1988, Rita joined Federal Express, where she remained gainfully employed until her untimely passing. She was so dedicated and hardworking and always willing to extend love and support to everyone she encountered, including coworkers, neighbors, friends, and especially family. Ms. Rita was truly a free-spirited bird.
Miss Rita Diva, as she often referred to herself, was an outgoing, vivacious, social butterfly who never met a stranger. She had an infectious smile and personality that drew people to her like a magnet. Everyone loved Rita! She kept people in her life from the time she met them until she took her last breath. Everyone was a fan of Miss Rita Diva and was considered her very own personal assistant. She was a loyal and trusted friend to many and had the privilege and blessing to have close friends who were equally as loyal to her as she was to them. Miss Rita Diva was adored by many, loved by everyone who came into contact with her, and something of a fashionista. She was always dressed to the nines, face beat (translation, made up), and always on the go.
She was previously married to Emmanuel “Keji” Ogunnaike, and through that holy matrimony her eldest son, Taurean Charles Ogunnaike was born. Mookie, as she affectionately called him, was her pride and joy. Rita’s youngest son, Wayne Dumas, Jr. (affectionally called “Mr. Wayne” by her) was the person in whom she drew her inspiration and strength—she cherished Mr. Wayne’s angelic qualities and positive attitude. If Rita was feeling down, she would just call Mr. Wayne on the telephone or go sit next to him in his room, and the optimism and joy he exuded would infect Rita. She always said she could never feel sad or stay down when “Mr. Wayne” was around. Nothing brought her more joy than her two grandchildren (Raegan and Chandler Ogunnaike) and the expectant birth of her first grandson (Tyson Ogunnaike).
She was preceded in death by her loving father, Charles Wessie Faulk, her adoring grandparents, Thelma and Hubert McCargo and Elizabeth and Walter Richard, biological grandfather, Tommie Faulk, and her second husband Anthony Ferguson, as well as a host of loving aunts and uncles and the many cousins she grew up with and had not only a familial relationship but also strong friendships.
In addition to being the beloved and cherished mother of Taurean Ogunnaike (Jovanna) and Wayne aka “Mr. Wayne” or “Bud” Dumas, Jr., she was the loving big sister of Decanda M. “Duke” Faulk and Chandele “Poochie” (Keith) Tunnell; aunt to Charisma Chandler (Lamon) and Terry Cheeks, Jr.; great aunt to Lylah Brooklyn Brown and Peyton Cheeks; cousin to James Pernel Richard and Ollie Barney, who were more like siblings than cousins; and heartfelt close friend to Crystal Cureton, Carla Shaw-Hilyard, Tracy Johnson Paige, and Kathy Mincy Boyd. They, along with a host of other cousins and close friends, will greatly miss her.
Rita departed this life on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, New Jersey, after God, in his infinite wisdom, saw that her earthly body was getting much weaker and needed to be restored in a Heavenly manner. She had fought a good fight, had kept the faith, and finished her course, so God called her home. After a series of health-related issues, God, in his infinite wisdom had other plans for her and bid her to take her rightful place around the Heavenly table spread for us all to dine one day.
Rita leaves behind her devoted mother (Gwendolyn “Pip”); pride and joy sons (Taurean and Wayne); her loving and caring younger siblings (Duke and Poochie); her precious granddaughters (Raegan and Chandler); her lovely daughter-in-law (Jovanna) and brother-in-law (Keith); her aunts (Christine Melvin (late LD), Jurleen Richard, and Alberta (Terrence) George); and uncle (Walter “Sunny Boy” Richards, Jr.); her bonus siblings (Stephan and Stephanie Wertz); and a host of cousins, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and Facebook fans.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth Faulk, please visit Tribute Store