Vanita Montelia Gates was born to Flora Jones and James Johnson on April 2, 1977, in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Caruthersville High School in 1995. She loved school and was a very competitive person. She participated in school plays, track, basketball, home-coming candidate, track award (2 yrs.), and held the girls track record for years. She was so competitive she was still challenging her brother Bobby in racing when they were in their thirties. Vanita was raised going to Pentecostal Power New Life Church. She participated in many church activities such as plays and skits, which she loved to do. She played the role of Leah the Wife of Jacob and one skit in particular she was a child following her dad. He wanted to know where she was. She said with that Vanita zest, “I’m right behind you dad!” Vanita was married on June 1, 2013. She was a loving, charismatic, independent, free-hearted, passionate, energetic, funny young lady that lived life to it’s fullest. She influenced many people during her lifetime. She loved crunching on ice. And before you knew it her kids, her nieces and even her sister Wu was crunching on ice. She would be crunching on that ice like she is crunching on a hard piece of candy. She took pride in everything she did, and her kids were her number one priority. She loved spending time with her family and adored her first grandson. Vanita worked hard to provide for her children and made sure they had what they needed to succeed. She worked in many Restaurants and Department Stores. Her bubbly personality drew people to her. Many customers would not let anyone serve them but her. Her smile and her laughter were a “knock-out.” She was a sweet person and always brightened anyone’s day with her kindness and laughter. Vanita met her untimely death on April 24, 2020, in Oklahoma City, OK at the age of 43. She was the granddaughter of Willie and Willie Mae Taylor, and Spencer Brooks. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Floyd and Althea Owens and Roxi Wilson. To cherish her memory, Vanita leaves her four beautiful children, Terrianna and Jay Green, Kendazia and Kendale Church all of Oklahoma City, OK; her parents, Flora and Kenneth Pittman, her biological father, James Johnson, her sisters Kenitha Pittman and Stacey Johnson both of Cape Girardeau, MO; her brothers, (brother and best friend) Bobby (Latosha) Taylor of Oklahoma City, OK, Lejaune Johnson of Caruthersville, MO, Kenneth and Kendall Pittman both of Caruthersville, MO, one step brother, Gerald Jimerson of Caruthersville, MO, her one and only grandson, Royce Green and a host of aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, nieces, nephew, cousins and friends. Special friends, Katrina, Latrice, Tiffany, Phyllis, Lorenzo and so many more. She never met a stranger.
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