I remember Grace Soto in the Tucson street market

TUCSON (KVOA) – Pima County’s Regulatory Agency declared May 29th Grace Soto Day to celebrate her legacy and impact on the munity.

Grace died last year of complications from COVID-19.

Today the Pima County Supervisory Authority declared May 29, 2021 Grace Soto Day.
Grace Soto owned and operated the legendary small business, Anita’s Street Market, and May 29th would have been her 81st birthday.
Your kindness, strength and wisdom are deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/d8nBthUjKk

– Supervisor Adelita Grijalva (@SupGrijalva), May 18, 2021

She and her husband opened the Anita Street Market in the Barrio Anita north of downtown in 1983. It’s a market that became a Tucson staple for four decades and brought a smile to everyone who visited it.

Grace Soto’s granddaughter Gracie Soto spoke to News 4 Tucson about her grandmother’s story.

“She said I was crazy and she was a 79 year old woman and nothing would scare her and she wouldn’t stop opening this place because of the virus,” Gracie began. “I think after a while she thought, ‘Yeah, that’s a really bad situation.'”

“In late November, it was a little after Thanksgiving, she just wasn’t doing well at all. I ended up calling 911 and they took her,” Gracie said. “My son, who is her great-grandson, was just trying, you know, to motivate her to like to fight and only to say to him in Spanish: ‘I love you, honey, I love you.'”

“She was in intensive care for about three or four days and eventually they let me zoom in with her and I was playing her favorite song, which was ‘Hanma’, and singing with her and we went to the hospital.”

“It was very hard to see her like this because I never thought that day would come. I wasn’t ready for it. And it just happened so quickly.” Gracie explained while holding back the tears. “I let her know that I would be fine and everyone would be fine and that she had done her part in this world and you know it was time for her to leave because she was tired.”

“At least I know she went out, left, did what she loved and was here in the store,” added Gracie. “And that’s what made her most happy. I know she’s still here. I know my grandfather never left.”

Gracie thanked her grandmother and thanked her for everything her grandmother had done.

“I want to thank her for everything she did for me and my son and for my motivation and my superwomen and how she would tell me, ‘Do it, yes we can, yes we can and I love you much.'”

“Everyone misses you but we know she is in a better place and give my Tata a hug and a kiss for me, tell him I love him.”

The family’s plan for business is to continue serving the community.

In honor of her grandmother, there will be a reopening and celebration of life in the market on Saturday morning.

More information about the event can be found at facebook.com.

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