Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
KENT, CT —
Shirley J. Arden, 86, a former Ithaca resident, died peacefully on March 20, 2014 in Kent, CT.
Mrs. Arden was known for her warmth, generosity of spirit, passionate convictions and great hugs.
The daughter of the late John and Jennie Schulze, she was predeceased by her beloved husband, Kelvin; sister, Deloris and brother, Wilbert.
Mrs. Arden is survived by her son, Erik (Sandy) of Lockport; daughter, Jenny (Steve Rock) of Poughkeepsie, NY and grandchildren,Tiffany Flynn (Michael), Tianna Arden and Andy and Julia Rock; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Mrs. Arden was an alumna of North Central College in Naperville, IL, where she met the love of her life, Kelvin. She worked as a bilingual secretary at Abbott Laboratories; the Chicago international law firm of Baker, MacKenzie, and Hightower; and the United Nations, where she worked on the Atoms for Peace Conference and in the office of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.
As a full-time mother, she was a passionate advocate for children's rights and served as President of the Ithaca PTA Council and co-founded the Interim Families program for troubled teenagers.
Returning to the work force in her mid-40s, she worked at Cornell University as Executive Assistant to the astronomer Carl Sagan. She prized the opportunity to participate in educating the public on complex scientific issues, which she believed was essential to a democratic society.
She was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for Viking's landing on Mars and Voyager's close encounters with Jupiter and Saturn, worked on the production of the Cosmos television series and numerous book manuscripts, facilitated production of the Voyager interstellar record, and helped to organize the first academic conference on the climate effects of nuclear war.
Most importantly, she treasured the relationships she developed with classmates, colleagues, neighbors and other friends over the years.
Mrs. Arden and her husband retired and lived for 20 years in Cocoa Beach, FL, before returning to New York to live near her children and grandchildren. They were cared for lovingly at the Kent (CT) Specialty Care Center in their final years.
A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the direction of Wm. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. If you would like to leave an online condolence, please visit www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com.