Susanna Gayle Griffie
July 18, 1959 – February 14, 2018
Susanna was born July 1959 in San Manuel, Arizona. She was taken fromher loving family much too soon on February 14. Susanna is survived by her father, Ronny G. Dennis, and her sons, Mitchell Clark, Matthew Griffie and Eric Burns. She is also survived by her sister, Laurie Elwell, and her brother, Michael Dennis, along with other family members. Susanna had a multi-faceted personality; she was educated, well-spoken, beautiful and graceful. She had a great love of music and the music industry. She took a failing business, the Los Angeles Music Awards, incorporated the business, and built an award system recognized by the entire music industry. Susanna's hard work and creative ability made the Los Angeles Music Awards a desirable step-up for new stars in the industry. A Celebration Of Life Memorial Service of Susanna Griffie's life will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 11:00am in the Chapel at Greenwood Memory Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery, 719 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85009.
From Sister Laurie- Susanna was the third born child to Ronnie and Judy Dennis. Dad was an electrician and it was necessary for us to move occasionally. We lived in Las Vegas for a time and quite often went to Lake Mead. Susanna loved to play in the mud on the shore. She would be covered in it. We would have so much fun spending the day on the beach! We’d make sandwiches and take lunch and laugh and carry on. It was a blast! When Susanna was little, she couldn’t pronounce the letter R. So as was the custom, we would talk at night and came up with a brilliant plan to give each other nicknames. She called Laurie, Lowie so her nickname was “Lowie the boy, the smoky toy”. Michael’s nickname was “Michael the broken motorcycle”. Susanna’s was “Susanna the wotten banana”. As teenagers we teased each other about our nicknames. Always got a laugh! We later moved to La Porte, Texas and lived temporarily in an apartment complex. Susanna and older sister, Laurie and older brother, Michael shared a bedroom. We would laugh and giggle at night, until our parents told us to go to sleep. We often held little plays and would entertain our parents at night. There was a swimming pool in the complex, and our parents offered us a silver dollar for jumping off the diving board. Of course, our mom, Judy had taught us how to swim. Before long, we were all jumping off the diving board and so proud to have a silver dollar in our hands! Every Friday night after our dad got paid we would go to A & W Root beer for dinner or other drive-in. We thought we were so grown up to have little mugs of root beer to drink out of. We would often go as a family to Galveston, and go fishing for the day. We had a running contest, to see who could catch the most fish. We counted all fish, no matter the size, Susanna always got the most fish, even if it was only a 2 inch catfish. We had fun on the beach. Susanna never really got sunburned, but her siblings did. After the fun of the sun, we would go home and our dad would bathe all three of us and wash our sandy hair. Well, as you can imagine that got a rise out of Susanna. My dad would laugh, and my mom would come in and then we’d all start crying and carrying on. She’d get mad at dad, later Mom would then detangle our hair and get us dressed in some of dad’s old tee shirts, eat dinner, then off to bed. By this time, we lived in an old two story house that was on a very large piece of ground. It had lots of trees, tall grasses, and mulberry trees. The three of us would go on safari in the backyard and Susanna and Michael would climb the trees! At times we would pick mulberries from a tree and mom would make mulberry pie for us to eat. One thing we could not do, however, was bring those mulberries smashed on the souls of our shoes or feet. That would send mom, having to try to remove the stain of mulberries in the house. The house was only a very short distance from the ocean but we were not allowed to go there without our parents. My mothers parents lived in Phoenix, and my dads mother lived in New Mexico. Our mother and all of the siblings took a train ride to Phoenix to spend time with the one set of grandparents in Phoenix. Later as we got older, Susanna and Laurie would spend a week with them in Phoenix, then Michael would spend a week with them. They always took us the library where we could check out as many books we wanted. A trip to the toy store was always on the agenda. Our other grandmother lived in Hurley, New Mexico. We could ride horses, help in the garden, and take road trips with our grandmother. She would always have a job for us, one particular summer, she wanted Susanna and Laurie to paint her fence around her house. We had a blast, getting paint all over ourselves. Our grandmother always loved us coming to visit. We loved spending time with our grandparents every summer. Susanna always had long hair, which mom would put in pony tails to keep her hair out of her eyes. Well one day, Susanna wanted to take out the rubber bands holding her hair in place. So she got a pair of scissors in one hand, held the pony tail in the other and attempted to cut the rubber band. Well, as you can imagine things did not exactly work out that way… All of a sudden she was holding a pony tail of hair and ran off crying to show Mom what had happened. She never did that again! In the late 1960’s girls had to wear dresses to school everyday. So when the school district changed the policy to wear pants, we thought we had arrived. The clincher was though, you had to wear a dress over the pants. Susanna thought that was hot stuff. Susanna and Laurie always shared a bedroom, Susanna loved Donny Osmond and Bobby Sherman. She had posters in her half of the bedroom, she listened to Donny Osmond and Bobby Sherman on her record player all day long. She dreamed of them. They were her heartthrob! In Scottsdale, where the posters were hung on the walls with care, we had a pool in the backyard. There Susanna and Laurie would swim and lay out in the sun. Before sun screen was ever invented we used baby oil to lay out and get a tan. Well, it didn’t take too long before Laurie was fried, but Susanna never burned. She would lay out and listen to music in the afternoons. Meanwhile, Laurie hibernated inside. Mom had a piano, and dad worked out of town, so in the evenings as we went to bed Mom would play “Claire De Lune”, “Moonlight Sonata”, and other classical music to lull us to sleep. It was very comforting to hear her playing as we went to sleep. Lots better than Donny Osmond! As a family we would often go the drive-in and see a movie or double feature. Our mom would make popcorn on the stove, we’d make a thermos of koolaid, take a blanket and lawn chairs, and watch a movie. In Phoenix, you could pretty much go to the drive-in year round. That was so much for us kids! During the summers, Mom would take the kids school shopping looking for bargains. So by the time school started, Susanna and Laurie would hold a Fashion show for the family. We had fun mixing and matching the outfits, and had a blast, acting like models.
- Celebration of Life Service Memorial Service Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Susanna Gayle Griffie
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