Lula Mae Bennett Grooms, the oldest daughter of James Isiah Bennett and Maggie, was born in Ridgeville, South Carolina on June 11, 1937 and departed this life on July 27, 2019.
As a young girl she accepted Christ and was baptized in the Holiness faith. Her parents moved to Charleston, SC, and as a little girl she took her first big trip to Philadelphia at the age of eight. She later returned to Charleston and graduated from Bonds Wilson High School and of course was voted “Best Dressed” after getting some northern exposure. Shortly after graduation she studied business administration and IBM Key Punch in business school.
Lula Mae then united in holy matrimony with Mr. Alfred Grooms, an Airmen of the United States Air Force. Looking to provide the best for their family, they settled in Philadelphia. Alfred and Lula Mae were blessed with the first of three daughters Melveeta. Six years later, daughter Patricia was born, followed by Tanesha, the couples last gift.
Lula Mae was smart and beautiful; she knew she deserved higher wages. She accepted the opportunity to be trained as an Electronics Technician for TRW Corporation, becoming one of the first black females to work in the electronics industry… a job that was normally performed by a man. Lula worked hard, was very accomplished, and prided herself on looking the part at work. Her career spanned for over twenty years with TRW. She loved working the night shift as it allowed her to pursue other interests. After many years at TRW Corporation, the company relocated, but she loved Philadelphia so much she pursued and acquired a position at Allegro Micro Systems. She retired after twenty years of loyal service.
Lula Mae was always seeking to expand her horizons. She was creative and a trendsetter, all the while maintaining a balance between work and family-life. Being a forward thinker and having a keen eye when it came to paying attention to details, it was only natural that Lula decided to study Cosmetology. She always looked “sharp" from head to toe and wanted to lend her talents to the beauty industry too. In her spare time, she worked part-time at Nash’s Barbershop and groomed community leader and Activist David P. Richardson and a host of others. She also acquired her barber and barber manager licenses and went into business for herself and ran a small business out of her home.
Lula Mae loved to shop and was the first to have a vegetable garden on our block. She also enjoyed sewing, traveling with her friend Ms. Virginia, and she loved getting “Dressed to the Nines" for the Annual V.I.P. Ball. But if you came to her home, she made you feel at home and was a fabulous entertainer. Everyone loved to come over for Alfred’s card parties and the question was always… “LOUMAE!! What did you cook???" Her response would sometimes be “You better not get on my nerves,” but no matter what, she always took care of business!
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Betty Watkins and two brothers, George Bennett, Sr. and Eugene Bennett, Sr.
She leaves to cherish her memory, daughters Bishop Melveeta Harewood, Patricia Grooms-Jones and Tanesha Brady; former spouse Alfred Grooms; sister Clareitha Gaines; brothers Isiah Bennett Jr., and Charles Bennett. She loved sons-in-law Harry Jr., Dr. Stephen and Bishop David; grandsons Dakota, Kameron, Dillon and Drew; sisters-in-law Margaret “Sharon” Bennett, Rachel Bennett, Olivia Holly; brothers-in-law Edward “Buddy,” Press “Buster," Benjamin, and a host of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family and friends.
Her Celebration of Life Service will be 11:00 am on Friday, August 2, 2019, at Highway Word of Faith, 901 East 7th Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 19801, where viewing will be from 9:00 – 10:45 am only.
Her interment will be in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, Delaware 19720.
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