Juanita Braxton Grant, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at St. Frances Nursing Center, Newport News, Va. Born April 6, 1928, she was the only child of Francena Meir and Willie T. Braxton.
Juanita was a gracious hostess who never knew a stranger and treated every one like family. Her address books and rotary files were filled with thousands of names; personal contacts which she called ‘family, friends and musicians.’ She could have been a resource person for any mailing list and often times was.
‘Nita’ as she was affectionately called wore many hats during her lifetime. She was the Public Relations Officer and Booking Agent for the well renown Craftman’s Hall for more than 20 years; she successfully co-chaired annual fund raising events for the United Negro College Fund; she volunteered for Newport News General Hospital while her daughter was the Pharmacy Director there, and was also recognized by the Hospital Administration for her dedication and untiring service. Juanita volunteered for the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and in 1982 was named Volunteer of the Year.
Juanita and her husband James Grant have been recognized by the Newport News Public Library System for the knowledge of music with special emphasis on JAZZ. The Grants were among the founding members of Los Aficionados Jazz Society, a group which promoted Jazz on the Peninsula and whose members were the building blocks for promoting the Hampton Jazz Festival in its infant stages; and many other jazz venues on the Peninsula. Music was her life and Jazz was her love.
She is survived by her husband of 49 years, James Grant Jr. ; her daughter, Gail Morton Brown; brothers-in-law, Dr. Lorenzo Grant (Aurelia), Marvin Grant and James Spencer. Other survivors include god daughters, Elsie ‘Bunny’ Walker, of New Orleans, La., and LaSuan Clark, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and so many other loved ones, too many to mention here, who called her Aunt Juanita, cousin or friend.
Services of remembrance and thanksgiving were held on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel, 1601- 27th , Newport News. A Jazz set was also performed July 22, 2012 in tribute to Juanita. Click Here to see the Thank You Note for all that attended.
“Music was her life… Jazz was her Love!”