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 sucessfully 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 Adminstration 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 ; brother-in-laws 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 Pittsburg, 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 will be held Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 12 noon at Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel, 1601- 27th , Newport News. A Jazz set is also being planned for July 2012 in tribute to Juanita .