1973 – 2021
Ayanna Ede Williams, 48, unexpectedly passed on November 17, 2021. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 29, 1973. Ayanna moved to East Orange, New Jersey in 1976. She attended Brookdale Christian School in Bloomfield, NJ before moving to South Orange to attend South Orange Middle School and Columbia High School. Ayanna graduated Cum Laude from Howard University School of Communications in 1996.
After graduation Ayanna joined Universal Records as a Publicity/ Creative Services Assistant; quickly moving up the ranks as a Advertising Coordinator and finally becoming a Manager within the marketing department. After a few years, Ayanna would leave Universal, and become a Project Manager within the Marketing Department at Jive Records before joining the family’s house cleaning business as the Office Manager. At the time of her death, she was a Partner/Manager of Operations.
Ayanna was a giving, sharing person who actively participated in several charity activities including National Suicide Prevention, The Breast Cancer Foundation, and The Believe in Newark Foundation.
Ayanna was the youngest child of three of parents Stephen L. Williams and Patricia A. (Lewis) Williams. She is survived by her two children, Nakiya Maasai Johnson (23) and Anaya Patricia Williams-Burrowes (13), her sister Khalida A. (Williams) Lewis (Steven Lewis), and her brother Stephen L. Williams, Jr. She also leaves behind two nieces and three nephews in addition to numerous cousins as well as a host of other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held, post cremation, on November 27, 2021 at St Paul’s Baptist Church, 119 Elm Street, Montclair, New Jersey. Visitation with family from 9:30am to 10 am.
Ayanna’s love of life and her generous spirit will be missed by all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Ayanna E. Williams HBCU Scholarship Foundation Ride, c/o Believe In Newark Foundation P.O. Box 638. Newark, New Jersey 07101.
The Believe in Newark Foundation, Inc. serves as a vehicle to provide resources, technical assistance and foster greater giving to support the nonprofit community and specifically the residents of the city of Newark through social, recreational, cultural and educational advancement. In 2020 The HBCU Scholarship Ride was established to financially assist students from Newark, NJ in realizing their aspirations of attending Howard University. In acknowledging the unique challenges that these students face, The HBCU Scholarship Ride acts as a bridge filling the gap between a deserving student’s desire and their ability to pay. Annually this event involves a bicycle ride from Newark to Howard University.