Israel Grant Sr., was born on July 22, 1932 to the late Gilbert Shaker and Robell Grant in Canadys, SC. He was the eldest of four children. Israel was educated in the Colleton County School System. He joined Red Bank Methodist Church at an early age and was a dedicated member during his youth.
In 1946 at the age of 16, Israel made the journey to Atlanta, GA by working with the Power Company installing utility lines from South Carolina to Atlanta. Once he arrived in Atlanta, he worked for Gulf Oil Company and made a lasting impression on the company’s history. Israel was the first African American to drive fuel trucks at night and balance tires, which was a highly skilled craft not allotted to African Americans at that time. After working for Gulf Oil for ten years, he began working for Ford Motor Company on the assembly line. Having an inspiration to be a business owner, on September 15, 1969, Israel was the first African American owner/operator of an Exxon gas station. Grant decided to open Grant Automotive Service Center on September 15, 1984 on Custer Ave, and his business continues to serve the community today. The community
Not only was he a businessman, Israel was dedicated to his family. On March 27, 1956 Israel and Essie Bell were married in holy matrimony and had three children. In 1955, he joined Salem Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend C. L. Jackson. He served faithfully as the Co-Chair of the Deacon Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Israel enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves, playing checkers with family and clients and watching WWE wrestling. He was a member of the Masonic Mason. Israel was a true figure head in the community and was loved by his customers and church members. The customers in community said he woke up the neighborhood everyday because he was at the shop before the community. Israel was known as, “A man among men”. As he got older in his semi retired years, he was the one to pickup and drop off customers getting their car serviced. Everyone would love to ride in the little red truck. It was always known that if you don’t want it told don’t tell Grant, because he is going to tell you the truth.
Israel was preceded in death by his son Israel Grant Jr, brother Bennie Lee, and sister Collette.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Essie, his children Catherine Reviere, Sandra Hall (James); grandchildren Shemika Wallace, Kisha Wallace, Patrice Reviere-Buford (Frederrick), John Hathaway III; great grandchild Reginald Kemp Jr.; brother Johnnie Lee Grant Sr.; two nieces, seven nephews and a host of family, friends, employees and Salem Bible Church family.