Ajike ‘AJ’ Shantrell Owens had an infectious smile and laugh. Born on January 13, 1988 in Broward County, Florida, AJ was the eldest of two children. She graduated from Vanguard High School in Ocala,Fl in 2006 and pursued higher education at the College of Central Florida and Hillsborough State College.  

Ajike excelled professionally in the hospitality and food industry, where she took great pride in providing excellent service. Known for her dedication, she often worked overtime, not only to provide for her family, but to ensure quality customer experiences. Her commitment to her work reflected her strong work ethic and passion for helping others. 

Affectionately known as AJ, she was a loving individual and a devoted Christian who instilled strong values in her children. AJ was a protector of all things near to her, especially her children. Her selflessness extended beyond her family often mentoring and supporting young women in need, giving generously despite her own limited resources.

As a mother, AJ was deeply involved in the lives of her children – Isaac (12), Izzy (9), Afrika (7), and Titus (3). She was the team mom for her son’s football team and daughter’s cheerleading squad, playing a crucial role in organizing the students and parents for the season. AJ was their sole provider for children and ensured that her family always had what they needed. Her unwavering love and dedication to her children were evident in every aspect of her life.   

On that fateful day on June 2, 2023, Ajike’s life was taken while she bravely sought to protect her children from the harsh realities of racism and violence. Her untimely death left a void in our hearts that can never be filled, but her legacy lives on through the countless lives she touched. 

AJ’s life was a testament to love, resilience, and selflessness. Her legacy lives on through her children and the countless lives she touched with her kindness and generosity. Ajike ‘AJ’ Shantrell Owens will always be remembered for her warm heart, strong spirit, and the profound impact she had on those around her.