Obituary of Antonio Givens
Antonio Baines Givens affectionately called Tony was born on December 31, 1964, in Orlando Florida. He along with his mother and six siblings moved to Newark, NJ at the age of 2 years old. Antonio attended Harriet Tubman and Camden Middle Schools in Newark during his childhood years. The family later moved to East Orange, NJ where he attended Vernon L. Davey, Jr. Middle School and East Orange High School from 1979 to 1983.
During Tony’s early childhood he, along with two of his brothers and younger sister, were known as the “The Givens Kids” ; they appeared on the nationally televised sitcom show titled “What’s Happening.” The group also traveled throughout the country performing and singing as they were lovingly called Little Gladys Knight and the Pee Wee Pips. Tony along with his family also performed on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key Life Album, sang and acted in the Broadway play entitled “God Bless the Child” alongside then child actress Janet Jackson and also performed on the soundtrack for the movie “The Wiz” starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. The group later went on to release several musical recordings for Venture Records, JP Records and finally the Sugar Hill Record Label.
After his musical career, Antonio settled into adulthood and worked for the Boards of Education in East Orange and Orange NJ. He later married Ms. Senay Dillon and they produced two beautiful children from their union, Ashlee and Amir Givens; he was also a stepfather to Christopher, Michael, and Brittani Dillon.
Antonio was one of the most loving, gentlest and sensitive spirits to all who knew and loved him. He had an infectious smile and a kind, supportive heart; many of his family and friends will confirm. He was very outgoing and free spirited. he loved spending time with his family, friends, and neighbors, especially during the many summer cookouts he held at his home that so many of his loved ones had the privilege of sharing with him.
Antonio received his angelic wings at 4:00am on September 3, 2018. He is survived by his mother, Mattie Givens of East Orange, NJ; ex-wife, Senay Dillon of Bloomfield NJ; children, Amir and Ashlee Givens, Michael, Christopher and Brittani Dillon; siblings, Edwin Givens and wife Joanne Givens of Dallas, TX, Lorenzo Givens and fiance Linda Willis of Union NJ, Cecilia Givens of Paterson NJ, Anthony Givens and wife Audrey Brown-Givens of East Orange, NJ, Derrick Givens and wife Kimberly Givens of West Orange, NJ and Audrey Givens of East Orange, NJ; nieces, Kiwana Givens Harris, Kelsey, Chanel and Deborah Givens; nephews, Lucious and Lamar Randleman, Jabreel , Kareem and Justin Givens and also a host of cousins, dear friends and loved ones.