"Thank you to everyone for your beautiful words, stories, and memories."
Anita’s Street Market and Tucsonans are celebrating the life of Grace Soto, who passed away on December 17 from complications with COVID-19.
Since her passing, an outpour of empathy, condolences, and memories have been shared on Facebook — a loving reminder of the respect the Tucson community has toward its culinary legends.
“Today was the hardest day of my life,” said her granddaughter, Gracie Soto, on Facebook. “She was truly an angel loved by many, a hard worker, a loving nana, my hero, and motivation. I was blessed to be able to call her my mom and nana who raised me into the woman I am today.”
Grace and her husband, Mario, opened the market more than 35 years ago, which is tucked away off the main drags of St. Mary’s and I-10 in the middle of Dunbar Springs.
The “Nana and Tata’s Miracle In Barrio Anita” toy drive that Grace Soto looked forward to every year still carried on as planned on Sunday, December 20 — a west side tradition that brings plenty of joy to the holiday season.
Before the event, Anita’s Street Market posted the following on Facebook:
“Yes, we will continue her tradition. Nana, we got this. We will make many kids happy in your memory.”
Her memories stretch further than the city of Tucson, too.
Pati Jinich, the host of the three-time James Beard Award-winning and Gracie Award-winning PBS series “Pati’s Mexican Table”, also shared memories of Grace Soto on her personal Facebook.
Terribly sad news. RIP en el cielo con los angelitos, Sen?ora Grace. You are, and will continue to be, so very loved….