David Tachela Sabuhsa Omens El-Ji transitioned to a better place on 10/17/2022. He was formerly known as David Eugene Owens Jr. or TC to friends he grew up with. He was born on July 7, 1951 in Richmond Va at the old St. Phillips Hospital, now VCU MCV, to Lilly Smalls and Eugene Owens, who both preceded him in death. His uncle, Ernest Langley, who was like another father to him; stepmother, Elnora Owens; brother, Jefferson McNeil; and lifetime friend, Richard Wright also preceded him in death.
David was raised in Richmond, Va and remained here until he went to Atlantic City, NJ on the bus at a young age due to his parents turmoil. He did a lot traveling from Atlantic City to Richmond and back during his school-age years, so he attended schools here in Richmond and in Atlantic City. Grandma Lilly, moved up there behind him and that is where she resided until she passed in 2004. He returned after graduating from Atlantic City High School in 1969 and went into the Navy. He was discharged in 1971, honorably.
David was very intelligent and was always willing to learn more. He began a self-love journey in the late 70s, where he found his love of yoga, which he later taught. He was also able to form a special relationship with God. He read the bible from front to back multiple times so he was able to decipher what the message was and explain that to others who were willing to listen. Dad wrote a book explaining who he was titled “Inspiration”.
David worked with his father at Owens Construction by doing bricklaying and masonry from 1969 to 1999. He helped build a lot of buildings here in Richmond. To name a few, Short Pump Mall which included Ford Dealership and the Shopping Malls in the surrounding areas, Law Office of Gary and Martin on Staples Mill, and he also built the Hobson Lodge as one of his last projects before retiring. He built tons of houses across the city.
He courted and married the love of his life and best friend, A’Sheba Omens El-Ji in 1982. While she was still working at the VA Medical Center, to show his love, David would warm the car for his wife to ensure she was never cold and often made sure she knew that he loved her dearly. As a newly wed couple, they both agreed to be a family no matter what and they did just that. They had a wonderful life together for 40 joyous years. David loved being a father and made sure he instilled wisdom into all of his children in several ways including, his memorable messages such as “A word to the wise should be sufficient”.
David and A’Sheba moved from Mary Wood’s (Ashebas mother) house in 83′ to Chimborazo Blvd to Southside Richmond, where David lived for the rest of his life. He expressed that the current residence, 5937 Autumnleaf Drive, is home for the family for generations to come. David continued to ensure his family was always moving onto bigger and better circumstances. He had a huge personality and made a huge impact on anyone who was able to meet him. He recently expressed that he had no regrets and that he was proud of his family, who are full of love and care.
He is survived by his wife, A’Sheba Omens El-Ji; four daughters, Germaine Evans, Injil Omens El-Ji (Marquise), Talitha Omens-Gadson (Dextor), and Yasmeina Simms (Jermaine); three sons, Scottie Wood (Cheryl), Jamii Wood and Sabuhsa Omens El-Ji; two adopted daughters, Hope Jennings (Rick) and Jocile Wilkins; one adopted son, Bruce “Trey” Graves; seven grandchildren, Michael Evans, Deionya Gadson, Jashawn Simms, Eisai Omens, David Gadson, Dextor Gadson III, and Titan Gadson; one sister, Juanita Brown; one devoted niece, Faith Franklin; one special aunt, Sadie Smalls; a cousin, Shakema Smalls; and a lifetime friend, James “Eddie” Thompson. David is also survived by a host of aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends who all loved him and we will miss him dearly.
Memorials may be sent to 5937 Autumnleaf Drive, N Chesterfield, VA 23234.
A Celebration of Life service will be on at 3pm Saturday, October 29 at 5937 Autumnleaf Drive, N Chesterfield, VA 23234. Please contact the family for more information.