Suellen Walter Edens
June 28, 1942 – January 25, 2020
Suellen Walter Edens passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at Barrow Neurological Institute on January 25, 2020. She was 77.
Suellen was born in Wilmington, NC and raised in Kinston, NC by her parents, Anna Stalcup Walter and Reese Benton Walter. She attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and, upon graduation in 1964, she lived in Hildesheim, Germany for a summer through the Experiment in International Living. It was the beginning of her lifelong interest in travel. Upon her return to the US, she became a special education teacher in Graham, NC.
In 1965, she married Gary Denton Edens, a 1964 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the first few years of their marriage, they lived in Dallas, TX and Raleigh, NC. In 1970, they were asked by Gary’s employer, Southern Broadcasting Company of Winston-Salem, NC, to “go out to Phoenix for just a year or two” and manage their radio station, KOY. Enjoying Phoenix so much, they remained in the Valley for the rest of Suellen’s life.
In 1971, they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Edens (Reid), and in 1973, their second daughter, Emily Blair Edens (Calihan).
Suellen was an active member of the community for five decades. Over the years, she was involved with the Phoenix Art Museum League and a board member of the Desert Foundation Auxiliary. She was a member of the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation, where she chaired the Barrow Grand Ball in 1993. She was a board member of PANDA, which supports the University of Arizona Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center and a member of the Columbine Garden Club where she served as its president from 2008 to 2010. Her friends at the Garden Club said, “Suellen was a beautiful, generous, joyful person, a caring, sincere friend, a smart and thoughtful lady, always with a radiant smile. She was loved by all and will be truly missed.”
Suellen and Gary are members of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO Gold).
She leaves behind great friends in several bible study groups, her investment club, morning walking ladies and Mahjong players.
Suellen is survived by her husband, Gary Denton Edens, daughter Ashley Elizabeth Edens Reid (Robert), daughter Emily Blair Edens Calihan (Danny); grandchildren, Caroline Grace Calihan, Peter Reese Calihan, Katherine Reese Reid, Anne Hamilton Reid, Blair Elizabeth Calihan and John Denton Reid; her sister, Benton Walter Gardner (Dave), her brother Reese Benton Walter, Jr. (Brenda) and her sister-in-law, Wendy Edens Jessen (Lee). She has numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Anna Stalcup Walter and Reese Benton Walter.
There will a Celebration of Life for Suellen at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 8 at St. Francis Xavier Church, 4715 North Central Avenue, Phoenix.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Suellen Edens to The Barrow Women’s Board Memorial Fund. Donations can be made online at give.supportbarrow.org/SuellenEdens or mailed to The Women’s Board of BNF, c/o Mrs. Daniel R. Fox, 3219 East Camelback Road, #417, Phoenix, AZ 85018.
Condolences may be expressed at www.WhitneyMurphyFuneralHome.com
So sorry to hear of the passing of your sister-in-law SUELLEN. May she Rest In Peace and pray your family
Will always remember this special lady!!! Always in Gods hands❣️
Dear Gary and family,
I was so sorry to hear from Wendy of SuEllen’s passing. In the summer of 1967, I was in Europe and your parents, SuEllen, and Wendy stopped while on a road trip to have dinner with my folks in York, PA. I remember my parents saying how enjoyable SuEllen was at dinner. Of course, too, they remarked about SuEllen’s beauty.
Please know I send my deepest sympathy.
Clare Ruch Abel
Bill annd Eleanor Batchelor
We are so saddened by the news of Suellen’s death. We are sending out thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
I know she will be missed by so many.
I’m sending my condolences to you & your family after hearing of Suellen’s untimely passing. How much my husband, Robert, & I enjoyed chatting with her & Gary at those wonderful Superbowl parties at the Silverman’s.
Suellen will be deeply missed by family & friends.
Dear Gary ,
I am Laurene Griest. We were office mates on 24th st back in 1995. What a long time ago. You talked about you and Suellen traveling especially in Turkey. I’ve always thought of you as my mentor . You’ll never know how much your wisdom helped me . I’ve been a psychotherapist nearly 38 years. You were an inspiration .
Even though I didn’t meet Suellen in person I remember your relaying several stories of your beautiful life together.
May God continue to bless you and your children. Be well, Laurene Griest
Ted Dodenhoff/ Sue Ross
Gary, Sue and I were saddened to hear of Suellen’s passing. My Sue knows only too well how the sudden death of a loved one hits without warning. You have no time to prepare, just time to grieve and rebuild your life. This am at mass we said a special prayer for her. Ted
Gary, Ashley, Emily and families, Please know prayers continue from me and Barton. I am reminded of losing my father nearly three decades ago. Nothing prepares one for it, but our faith in God certainly eases the loss in time. Gary, you have my number. Would be honored to lend an ear at anytime if you so choose. My deepest, sincerest sympathies to you all. In Christian faith and love, Kent, Barton & Phyllis.
Tommy and Diane Walker
Gary, Joe Goodpasture just informed us of Suellen’s passing. Diane and I are deeply sadden by the news.
You and your family are in our prayers. May God bless you. Tommy and Diane Walker
Dear Gary, Ashley and Emily-
Sending my sincere condolences to you and rest of your families for your recent loss. I will keep all of you in my prayers.
Warm Regards, Jeffrey Cilley
Gary- Alan just told me the news of Sue Ellen’s passing and am so sad to hear. We so enjoyed meeting you two ‘On Golden Pond’ and it was clear to see the love you shared. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and you family.
Leslie and Alan Berson