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Celebrating the life of

Susie Miller Arden

Passed away on March 27, 2024

Susie Miller Arden

Susie Miller Arden, 98, died peacefully in Savannah on March 27, 2024, in the company of her loved ones. She was born on February 4, 1926, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and lived there until the age of nine, when her family moved to Florence, South Carolina. At age 15, she moved with her family to Savannah.

It was at Savannah High School, when she was 16 years old, that Mrs. Arden met her future husband. Frank Arden first saw his beloved Susie when she was on stage in the lead role of Lucy Belle Lee in Ever Since Eve. For the next 65 years - until his death - she would be the love of his life.

Theatre and live performance were lifelong joys for Mrs. Arden. She came from a large and musically-talented family; they read plays aloud together and had musical performances at home throughout her childhood. She first joined the drama club in Florence, and later became president of the drama club at Savannah High School.

After graduation from high school in 1943, Mrs. Arden attended the University of Georgia. She was chosen Miss Coordinate of the freshman campus, became a member of Chi Omega Sorority, and was selected to serve as the sponsor of two fraternities, Kappa Sigma and Phi Delta Theta.   

During and after college, Mrs. Arden continued to participate in theatre. In 1950, she performed the lead role in the first performance of the first season of the Little Theatre of Savannah, in the play Over 21. In 2000, when the Savannah Theatre Group celebrated 50 years of theatre in Savannah, she was recognized at the event for her role. Once her children were in school, Mrs. Arden continued her volunteer work in theatre, taking live performance and puppetry into the public schools.

Mrs. Arden often repeated that her life goal had been to be a mother. She delighted in her own children and cared for all children. For almost 60 years, she served as a member of the Froebel Circle, the board of women who operate the Fresh Air Home, a 127-year-old summer camp on Tybee Island for children in need. For many years, Mrs. Arden served as treasurer, and even well into her eighties she could be found painting the buildings and furniture before camp opened.

St. John’s Church was a central part of Mrs. Arden’s life. She served many roles, most notably as president of the Episcopal Church Women. She was a person of strong spiritual faith. Her belief in God was unwavering; she had complete trust that He would always guide her through every moment in this life and the next. She was gifted to live by grace, gratitude, and love. She was happy, not because she only experienced good things, but because she saw the world as a fundamentally good place.

Until her first child was born, Mrs. Arden worked at the Savannah Electric and Power Company. She then became a full-time homemaker and mother, excellent cook, and wonderful playmate. As her children reached high school and left for college, Mrs. Arden launched a new project: a shop on the then-just-developing River Street. This was no surprise to those who knew of Mrs. Arden’s keen mind and skill with accounting and business. Named The Doll House, the shop featured beautiful custom-made doll houses and miniatures, as well as antique and handmade dolls. It became a successful local business, and many customers became lifelong friends.

Intellectually curious, Mrs. Arden was a voracious reader, especially of history and poetry. She was able to recite Victorian poetry with such feeling that even very young children were mesmerized.

Mrs. Arden will be remembered by friends and loved ones for her infectious enthusiasm toward all those who found themselves in her company. Her kindness and affection were sincere, bountiful, and unreserved. Her bright smile had the warmth of sunshine, and she loved to laugh.

Mrs. Arden delighted in individuality; no two stones, no two seashells, no two leaves were the same – and, certainly, no two people. She treasured them all.

            The family extends deepest thanks to her caregivers, Jamilla Green, Pearl Bolton, Francis Reeves, Glenda Magwood, Dora Sheppard, and the caring staff of Azalealand Nursing Home and Hospice Savannah.

Mrs. Arden was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Benjamin Arden, Jr.; her son, Frank Benjamin Arden, III; her father, John Redmond Miller; her mother, Ethel Coley Miller; her sister, Eula Miller Clifton; and her brothers, Willard Ivan Miller, John Redmond Miller, Jr., and Bruce Canfield Miller.

She is survived by her daughters, Susan Arden-Joly and her husband, Christian, and Anne Arden Santa-Rita and her husband, Ze, of Savannah; grandchildren Frank B. Arden, IV and his wife,  Ashlea, of Atlanta, Georgia; Eleanore Arden-Joly of London, United Kingdom; Julian Santa-Rita and his wife, Lori, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Joao Santa-Rita and his wife, Brittany, of San Francisco, California; a sister-in-law, Jane Harrell Miller of Richmond, Virginia; and great-grandchildren, Oliver Santa-Rita, Viveca Santa-Rita, and Frank B. Arden, V. She is also survived by 14 much loved nieces and nephews and their children.

A visitation will be held Thursday, April 4, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Fox and Weeks Funeral Home, Hodgson Memorial Drive. The Reverend Gavin G. Dunbar will conduct a Funeral Service on Friday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m., at St. John's Church on Madison Square. A reception will follow at the Green-Meldrim House. Burial will be in the Arden Family plot, Bonaventure Cemetery, immediately following the reception.

 Remembrances may be sent to St. John's Church, One West Macon Street, Savannah, Georgia, 31401 or to the Fresh Air Home of Tybee, Post Office Box 14144, Savannah, Georgia, 31416.



Susan and Anne, my heart breaks for you. Your mom was a lovely lady that loved her family so much! She raised two beautiful daughters to continue to spread her love in this world. She smiles through you both. Hugs, Mary Ann

- Mary Ann Dudley, Savannah, GA

Anne and Susan, I am so sorry to hear this news. Your mother was always so gracious - in conversation and deed. I'm not sure I was ever around her that she wasn't smiling. Many happy memories for you both!

- Helen Waters, Savannah, GA

We will always treasure the times we spent in the company of dear Susie in St Louis, in Savannah, or on Tybee Island. She was a wonderful woman, lady, mother and grandmother, full of charm, and life and wit, with equal amount of kindness and love in her heart. Wish we had more time to be together and share stories and laughs and good times! Our deepest sympathy goes to the whole family, especially to Susan, Eleanore and Christian whom are dear friends of ours. Rest in peace sweet Susie❤️

- Aniko Javorfi & Attila Kovacs & family, St Louis, MO

Susie was a delightful person, a ray of sunshine. My mother, Norma, will be sad to learn of her passing.

- Kathleen Brewin Lewis, Atlanta , GA

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Mrs. Arden. I have fond childhood memories of her and the rest of Arden family from when the families would get together for holidays and special events. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

- Charlie Roebling, Charlotte, NC

My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time of sadness but be thankful she is in a better place than we.

- Tommy Holland , Savannah , Georgia

My family and I are going to miss Aunt Susie we have some very wonderful memories and visits. I enjoyed talking on the phone with her she would asked about my girls grandson, and Phil. She would tell me about her family. She was one very special lady, I love her. Pray that I will see her one day with the Lord . Susanne Miller Robbins, Nashville, NC

- Susanne Miller Robbins, Nashville, NC

I will always remember Susie with a smile on my face. We have such wonderful memories of Susie and of times spent together here in Saint Louis and in Savannah. What a wonderful presence she was in our lives as our girls grew up. Her warmth, her smile, the sparkle in her eyes will stay with us forever. We are all the better for knowing her, such a sweet and kind soul. Rest in peace, dear Susie. Deepest condolences to Susan, Christian, Eleanore, Anne and the whole family. Sending love and hugs from Saint Louis - Laureen, Annie, Mike, Alex and Lilith.

- Laureen Di Bisceglie, Saint Louis, MO

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel