Salon 19

Arridean Grace

March 13, 1933 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Arridean Grace Obituary

Arridean ‘Madea’ Grace was born to Bertha McMillan and Irvin Sweet on March 13, 1933 in Chattahoochee, Florida. She would be the first of 6 children. Raised in a Baptist family, if it was one thing she knew it was God, education and ‘how to make a dollar’. Growing up, Arridean attended Steven High School in Quincy, Florida. In her teenage years she sharecropped the fields her ancestors once lived on and it was also where she met Ulysses ‘Pop-Pop’ Grace at the age of 14, who would later become her husband at the age of 15. Always wanting to be her own boss, she took a liking to cosmetology and enrolled into Florida A&M College where she obtained her beauty culture license. In December of 1948, she would go on to marry the love of her life, Pop-Pop. When asked why she got married so young, in her normal wittiness, she responded “I wanted that man!”. On August 30, 1950, she gave birth to their first child, Geraldyne ‘Gerry’ Sweet-Williams. On April 26, 1952 they would have their second and final child, Lottie Grace-Robinson. In 1955, the family would migrate to Newark, New Jersey to establish their road to riches and generational wealth. She opened her 1st beauty parlor on Clinton Avenue and her second one on South Orange Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. In 1969, she obtained her real estate license and in 1977 she opened the first famous Mrs. G’s Restaurant, Lounge, Liquor Store and Apartment Building. It would become the first of 3 venues. Whether in New Jersey or Florida, the Mrs. G’s franchise was not just a business, it was a family. You could get the latest gossip, meet your soul-mate, get a hot meal, a drink, show off on the dance floor, listen to a live band and enjoy the community Easter parties. One thing’s for certain, what happened at Mrs. G’s stayed at Mrs. G’s, but someone was definitely gonna tell Mama G what happened at her establishment. In 2001, Madea sold the original Mrs. G’s, bought a house and moved back to her home in Florida, where she opened her second Mrs. G’s Lounge in Daytona beach. During her years of operation in Florida, Mrs. G’s was a staple for Bike Week and people came from all over the south and New Jersey to party. Years after closing her Florida doors, Pop inspired her to open one last business for their daughter and the continuation of their legacy.

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