Ayotunde Adebayo Okeowo 03/30/1945 - 07/24/2015

Visitation

Service of Songs
Friday, August 7th, 2015 
7pm-9pm

St. Paul's Baptist Church
119 Elm St., Montclair, NJ 07042
973-746-8338
*Refreshments will be served*

Funeral

Saturday, August 8th, 2015
Viewing: 8am-9:30am
Home Going Service: 9:30am-10:30am
Procession to Cemetery: 11am

St. Paul's Baptist Church
119 Elm St., Montclair, NJ 07042
973-746-8338

Repast

Saturday, August 8th, 2015
12pm-4:30pm

Montclair Art Museum
3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042
973-259-5139

Resting

 

Ayotunde Adebayo Okeowo was born to Samson and Lucian Abosede Okeowo in Lagos, Nigeria on March 30th, 1945. He is survived by his elder sister, Dr. Mayowa Okeowo Fagbemi, his wife, Florence Adebukola Okeowo, their four children: Temilayo Ogona, and Eniola, Abimbola, and Toluwalope Okeowo, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and a son-in law. Ayo is preceded in death by his brother, Adeyemi Gasper Okeowo.

 

A lifelong mischievous, adventurous and fun-loving spirit, Ayo was often the originator of family jokes, and pranks amongst his friends as a young boy (especially with his best friends of 50+ years, Dr. Ishola Adamson and Mr. Yinka Odukoya) and up until his untimely passing. Ayo attended Methodist Boys High School and graduated in 1963. In line with his adventurous spirit, Ayo chose to move to Russia in pursuit of the furtherance of his education. His time in Russia also resembled his never-ending quest for knowledge. He lived in Russia for a year before he started school to learn the Russian language. After completing his first degree, he graduated with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Leningrad Electrical Engineering Institute (currently known as Saint Petersburg State University) in 1973. At the time of his passing, Ayo was still fluent in Russian and took the opportunity to speak it to every person who passed by and even remotely appeared to be Russian.

 

Upon his return to Nigeria, Ayo met Florence/Buki at a party thrown by Mr. Odukoya. They married, and Ayo was a loving and providing husband and father. Ayo and Florence moved to various countries in hopes of pursuing their careers. They were also in search of a place to raise and provide their future children with the best possible learning and cultural opportunities. Ayo frequently took Florence on domestic and international get-away trips; the couple recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a trip to New Orleans, LA; and the entire family celebrated his 70th birthday, also recently, in the Hamptons.

 

Ayo and Florence left Lagos for Ayo to begin a second Master’s degree at the University of Waterloo in Canada. They then moved to New York, NY, where he completed his Master's degree in Computer Science at New York University and later began PhD studies. Upon his graduation from NYU in 1978 as ABD, the family moved to Montclair, NJ, where they have resided for the past 31 years.

 

Ayo practiced as an independent software consultant for over 30 years. His clients included Equitable Bank, Citibank, AT&T, NYNEX, NYSE, Salomon Brothers, Dow Jones, Chase, ADP, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, and TDWaterhouse. On September 11, 2001, Ayo had just come out of the World Trade Center when he saw the terrorist plane hit the building. This shocking experience was a moment of clarity about Ayo’s life priorities. He decided to retire from consulting and began a profession in real estate property management. He owned and managed several buildings in New Jersey and New York, which he maintained until his passing.

 

The Okeowo family had the most amazing time growing up together in Montclair. Ayo successfully passed his mischievous and fun-loving spirit to his family, causing the 'Okeowo Girls' to often be the originator of pranks against their parents, each other, and their own friends. Laughter and love filled their home day and night. He also passed on his erudite disposition and philosophy. He took it upon himself to ensure that college would be covered for all of his children, and consistently encouraged them to pursue graduate degrees (“…knowledge is something that can never be taken away from you…”). Ayo was a founding member of the Association of Friends, an organization of local professional Nigerians who had emigrated to the US, and served on the board from 1994 – 2005 (as Assistant Social Secretary, Social Secretary, and finally as President).

 

Ayo's daughters were blessed, each in having a very close bond with their father. In their minds, they were each “Daddy’s girls”, and he was a legend: the coolest, most dependable guy ever. He always encouraged them, often times convinced them, that they were capable of doing things they originally did not think were possible, and even still tried to be the problem-solver for his children when any life situation needed to be addressed. He also somehow found a way to reinforce the importance of academic success while also highlighting the importance of letting loose, having a good time, and exploring all that life has to offer (“…you can have as much fun as you want, but just make sure you don’t bring home bad grades…”). One could say that Ayo treated each of his four daughters as if they were his only child. His love and commitment to each of them had no bounds.

 

Throughout his life, Ayo’s hobbies included photography, table tennis, finding ways to outsmart someone/thing, traveling, cooking his “secret recipes”, eating, and enjoying culture, such as theater and arts.

 

Ayo suddenly passed on the morning of Friday, July 24th, 2015. It was a shock to many. While we all wish we could have had the opportunity to say goodbye, we are comforted by knowing he did not suffer during his death. He will be missed by many.

 

08/05/15 : a family connection was made with Toluwalope Okeowo
08/05/15 : a family connection was made with Temilayo Ogona Okeowo
08/05/15 : a family connection was made with Florence Adebukola Okeowo
08/05/15 : a family connection was made with Eniola Okeowo
08/05/15 : a family connection was made with Abimbola Okeowo