Anne Rivers Siddons
1936 - 2019
Anne Rivers Siddons CHARLESTON - Our beloved stepmother, Anne Rivers Siddons, a resident of Charleston since 1998, died peacefully after a short battle with lung cancer on September 11th, 2019. She died at home surrounded by her family. A recent return to the Christian faith of her youth was a constant source of strength, comfort and assurance during her final days on earth. Like CS Lewis, who she ardently admired, Anne arrived at a settled conviction that Jesus Christ is the "way, the truth and the life" and entrusted her life to her Savior and Lord. Sybil Anne Rivers was born in Fairburn, Georgia on January 9th,1936 to Marvin and Katherine Rivers. She was the 6th generation of the Rivers family that lived in Fairburn. Her father was a patent attorney and her mother worked as secretary to the principal of Campbell High School. She graduated from high school magna cum laude, was elected homecoming queen and cheerleading captain. She enrolled at Auburn University in 1954 and graduated in 1958. At Auburn she wrote columns for the college newspaper. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority and named "Loveliest of the Plains". In 1957 she courageously penned two editorials supporting integration and was dismissed from the Auburn Plainsmen by the university administration. Her firing received national attention and her experience greatly influenced her first novel, Heartbreak Hotel. After graduation she moved to Atlanta and worked in advertising. Her desire to write led her to Atlanta magazine in 1963. She became a senior editor and began to write essays for numerous magazine publications. She met her the love of her life, Heyward Siddons, in 1965 and they were married in 1966. Immediately, she became a stepmother to Heyward's four sons who adored her. In 1975 her first book was published, John Chancellor Makes Me Cry. The book was a compilation of 28 poignant and uplifting essays from her own life. In a chapter aptly titled "Ten Days that Shook the World", she happily recounts with great hilarity the trials and tribulations of meeting her four young stepsons for the first time. In 1976 she wrote her first novel, Heartbreak Hotel. In 1978, she penned her only horror story, The House Next Door. Stephen King greatly admired this novel and wrote a glowing review in his definitive book about the genre of horror titled Danse Macabre. These two books were subsequently made into movies. The movie Heart of Dixie, based on Heartbreak Hotel, was released in 1989. The Lifetime Channel produced The House Next Door, a made for TV movie in 2006. In 1988, her novel Peachtree Road was published and is considered by many to be her most important book. Comparisons with the famed author Margaret Mitchell were touted in literary circles. She went on to write 15 more novels and developed a legion of fans in the South and beyond. Over the years her new book signings were notable as fans lined up gripping numerous copies of her previous novels to have Anne sign. Her fans were passionately loyal, a fact that always surprised and delighted her. After marrying Heyward Siddons, Anne spent every summer on the Maine coast in the tiny town of Brooklin. Heyward's great grandfather built a summer cottage called the Milton in 1927. After residing in the Milton for many summers, they purchased a beautiful summer home lying on a waterfront cove overlooking Eggemoggin Reach. She named the house Osprey and her love affair with this part of the world only grew. Maine became the setting for another novel, Colony, that was published in 1992. The baseball writer Roger Angell was a next-door neighbor. Her love of writing never diminished over the years. In fact, she recently outlined a new novel that was going to explore the friendship between a white girl and black girl during the Civil Rights march toward Selma. In 1991 Anne was awarded a doctorate of letters by Oglethorpe University. In 2004 Anne created the Osprey Foundation. The Osprey Foundation supports initiatives around Education, Environmental & Animal Protection, and Christian ministry. Through the Osprey Foundation, she funded a College of Liberal Arts scholarship program at Auburn. In 2007 she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. In 2013, Anne received Auburn's Women's Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award. Anne was known by her family and friends for her humility, grace, elegance, southern gentility, and a generous heart that knew no bounds. She always had a houseful of cats, was a lover of God's creation and animals of every kind. She was devoted to her husband Heyward and no one could think of her without thinking of him. They were inseparable. Anne was a gifted story teller who loved words and she shared those words with the world through her books. The world is by far a richer and better place because Anne inhabited it. She will be missed by her family, friends and fans. She was an amazing person, an amazing writer. Above all, she was an extraordinary step mother. Anne is survived by her four stepsons and their families. They are Lee Siddons, Kem Siddons (Carol), Rick Siddons (Julie), David Siddons (Tracy), and three step-grandchildren, Stuart Siddons (Chrissy) Kelby Siddons (Jay), and Maggie Siddons Holst (Henry). There will be a private family service held for Anne. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Osprey Foundation via check and sent to the attention of David Siddons, 5510 Harris Woods Trace, Fulshear, Texas 77441. Visit our guestbook at charleston

Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Sep. 16 to Sep. 17, 2019.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

77 Entries
I did not know that Mrs. Siddons had passed. She had a special talent for writing about the South, amongst other things. She put into words what I was thinking, many times! I love her style and will miss her!
Terry Cooper
July 26, 2021
Anne and I were friends and met through our husbands, both of whom were classmates at Princeton, and we all lived in Atlanta. We also had a house in Brooklin, Maine a short distance from Anne and Heywood’s cottage.

Anne was a beautiful person inside and out, and her novels reflected that beauty. Once at a Princeton reunion, Anne told me my beloved husband, David LeBey was the prototype for the lead character in her book Peachtree Road.

I read everyone of her books and loved them. Sad to learn that she passed away.
Barbara LeBey
November 27, 2020
I will miss her words-her insight & the journeys her books allowed me to feel a part of. A great literary gift to all who read her works . I hope she is honored in future
American Lit classes by studying her writing in depth. Anne Rivers Siddons is gone but her words remain a part of everyone who
Began a journey reading her works and feeling the power of her words. Im going to Go back & re-read her gifts ( books) hoping her loss wont feel so permanent.
Mary Beth
Mary Beth Olds
July 12, 2020
Anne Rivers Siddons was one of my favorite and deeply treasured authors. Peach Tree Road carved such a deep place inside my heart that the story, its characters, and beautiful images of days gone by in Atlanta have never left me.
It is a book I re-read every so often and introduced me to this amazing author's
array of novels I simply could not put down.
I did not know that Anne Rivers Siddons had
passed. It was a dream of mine to write her or even meet her some day and tell her how
much I loved her work and admired what I read about what was important in her life.
She will be missed yet absolutely NEVER
forgotten. As a retired college English teacher, I have many friends who also regard her body of work and the person she was with the highest esteem.
Rest in peace, dear Ms. Siddons.
Ellen Krueger
April 18, 2020
We her fans have come to love her and now we miss her. God bless you and thank You for loaning her to us for too short a while. Dear Anne, I will look forward to giving you a great big hug in heaven soon. Until then, we love you.
Marie Baker
March 11, 2020
God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's...My heartfelt sympathies..
February 26, 2020
One of my very favorite authors! When friends would ask for a recommendation I would always suggest they read any of Anne Rivers Siddons works of art. May she rest in peace...
Heidi Reyburn
Lititz, PA.
February 26, 2020
Heidi Reyburn
February 26, 2020
I just discovered Ms. Siddons' work as I finished her novel Up Island. What a wonderful writer she was. I am saddened that we will no longer hear from this wonderfully talented (and obviously intelligent) lady who had such a gift with words. I am so thankful she was able to write and share so much. She will be enjoyed for years to come. I am sorry for your loss.
Cindy W
January 6, 2020
So very sad to hear of her illness and subsequent passing. Anne has long been my favorite author and I've bought, read, enjoyed and kept each book she wrote with the exception of "John Chancellor Makes Me Cry". She was a strong woman who wrote about strong women and controversial issues. God bless.
Kathleen Miller
December 27, 2019
I loved her books and have even more insight about them now, knowing that she and Pat Conroy were good friends. Heartfelt sympathy.
Susie Kaylor
November 15, 2019
I cant imagine a world without the intense wait for another Anne Rivers Siddons books, She was my all time favorite author, absolutely no one could write like her. I will reread her novels forever
tiffany gray
October 24, 2019
It's very special when we leave this place called earth and have developed such a treasured legacy that we can be remembered by. Mrs Siddons did just that through her many novals. Condolences to the family and may God be with you at this time.
October 21, 2019
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one, who will be remembered for her contribution to the literary arts. May you find comfort and strength in God during this time of mourning.
October 19, 2019
I felt so sad when I read of Mrs. Siddons' passing. Her books have brought me great joy over the years. May she rest in peace.
Sharon Hamil
October 7, 2019
I was so saddened to learn of Mrs. Siddons' passing. Her books have brought me so much joy throughout my reading life. I am a lifelong Georgia residentborn at Piedmont Hospital where I still work today. She could describe Southern culture like no one else. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet her, and will treasure her books always.
Kelly Hulsey
October 5, 2019
I am truly sorry about the passing of your loved one. May God strengthen your family during this time of loss. Deepest sympathies.
September 29, 2019
My Condolences to the family of Ann Rivers Siddons for your loss.
September 19, 2019
Anne and I lost contact with each other over the past years, but we were at Auburn together and later were neighbors in Atlanta. She and Heyward were dear friends to me at a difficult time in my life. Anne is in my heart forever!
Marty Davenport Wallace
September 19, 2019
I was so saddened to read of Anne Rivers Siddons passing. Having read all her books I felt I knew her as a beloved fiend for her heart and soul shone thru in all her writing. Rest well lovely lady. So many will miss you.
Denise Brown
September 18, 2019
Denise Brown
September 18, 2019
I am saddened by the loss of this great writer and Southern lady. Her book, Sweetwater Creek was one of my absolute favorites as it set me on the course for a Boykin
Spaniel, a breed I ultimately fell in love with. Thank you, Ann for gracing the literary world with such beloved books. You will be greatly missed and very warmly remembered
Dottie Hammond
September 17, 2019
Dear Siddons Family.. Ms Anne has delighted me with her books for years. Our litarary world has lost a gem. Prayers for peace and comfort to you all.
Deborah Taylor
September 17, 2019
For all the wonderful memories I have because of your stories, thank you.
Dawn Walker
September 17, 2019
The literary world and avid readers have had to say goodbye this month to two great writers Anne River Siddon and Dorothea Benton Frank... they were my go to authors whenever I wanted to read a book that would not disappoint. God bless them their good works are memorialized forever.
S Hartwell
September 17, 2019
You were a guiding light in my literary world. I will forever be grateful for your beautiful novels. God Speed Mrs. Siddons.
Lauren Goldberg-McKeown
September 17, 2019
Best author ever. House next Door have me nightmares. Up Island is a classic.
Marie Mee
September 16, 2019
I will keep the family in my prayers and may you hold on to her in your memories.
September 16, 2019
So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. I will miss her books.
Mary Carmichael
September 16, 2019
Wonderful books and articles.
Robert Snee
September 16, 2019
This great writer will be missed.
Leah Sears
September 15, 2019
September 15, 2019
Anne Rivers Siddons was an excellent writer. I read many of her books. They were moving and they were lovely. We will miss her.

Kristen Esbensen
September 15, 2019
I grew up in Fairburn, Georgia around the corner from Anne. Although she was a decade older, she always had time to stop and say hello. She was beautiful inside and out. I have all of her books, many of which are autographed. She never forgot her Fairburn roots. She will be greatly missed.

Judy Barrett Litoff
Providence, RI
September 15, 2019
September 14, 2019
September 14, 2019
She was an awesome writer of the "Southern"/Low Country genre. I am 80 years old, but have looked forward to and read all of her books. Some I have disposed of but some Ihave cherished and reread over the years. A great loss and will miss her.
Margaret Turner
September 14, 2019
Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to the family. Your Mother was a lovely woman and very talented, leaving a wonderful legacy and touching the lives of so many through her novels. Please know that our Heavenly Father feels your pain and grants you all an abundance of love, peace and comfort during this most difficult time.

RT, Jackson Tennessee
September 14, 2019
In 1964, 1 worked for McCann-Marschalk, the Advertising Agency, in Atlanta as the Administrative Assistant for the
Creative Department which had 13 employees in its staff, one of them being Heyward Siddons, whom I adored, who was the
Radio/TV Producer. In
1967, I went to work as the Assistant to Jim Townsend who was the Editor of Atlanta Magazine where I met the Writer Anne Rivers (Siddons) whom I also adored. Who would imagine that these two wonderful, talented people would share their lives together with each other - and with so many of us for so long - and now, thankfully, they are back together again. They brought love to many, many people. We were blessed to have known them and worked with them and shared time with them and learned from them. Much love to Anne, Heywatd and their families.

Linda Webb Alexander
September 14, 2019
My Grandmother and Ann Rivers Mother was sisters. I am so sorry for your loss! She will be greatly missed by so many people. May she Rest In Peace until you are united again never to know the pain of parting.
Linda Strickland
September 14, 2019
To the family.I am so sorry for your loss.May the God of all comfort be with you at this time.
September 14, 2019
Thoughts and prayers for the family of this talented writer. Anne, your books were such a joy to read, I loved them all. Thank you for sharing your stories. The world is a sadder place without you. You will be missed
Donna Brown
September 14, 2019
My sincere condolences for your loss of your loved one. May your family and friends have peace and comfort from you fond memories.
September 14, 2019
When I read Outer Banks as a teenager and got to the big plot turn, I was in pure agony both dying to read more and being so stunned I had to lie on the floor. When I went to college I brought three of ARS books. I'm so grateful for what she gave to us.
September 13, 2019
May Gods Peace surround the family and friends of Anne during this difficult time.
September 13, 2019
One of my favorite authors!!! Heaven has some beautiful angels this month with Anne Rivers Siddons and Dorothea Benton Frank. Loved you both while you were on this earth and will miss you terribly! May God keep His arms around the families today and always. Just a friend.
Janis Cranford Ford
September 13, 2019
The House Next Door is a masterpiece. Thank you for the experience
Blake Krasner
September 13, 2019
Thank you, Anne, for fearlessly forging a genre in Southern Fiction that showcased women struggling with the expectations of family and society and ultimately triumphing. You plowed the path for the rest of us. You were a great mentor, and I'm honored to have known you. You will be missed. Give my love to Dottie and Pat.
Mary Alice Monroe
September 13, 2019
Anne Rivers Siddons was a fabulous writer. Her vocabulary was one to envy and emulate! The endings of her stories always "got you"; never saw 'it' coming!
I treasure her books and I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced her immense talent.
September 13, 2019
So sad to hear of her death. I have all her books and have reread several of them. Wonderful stories by one of my favorite authors! She will be greatly missed.
Wanda Devers
September 13, 2019
Such a talented woman! May mercy and comfort be with the family.
Donna Johnson
September 13, 2019
Ms. Siddons, you left a literary footprint on my heart 25 years ago with your stunning work, "Peachtree Road" which is and has been one of my top three favorite books. It is timeless. I thank you for your other works which I've read and love. Rest peacefully, southern goddess.
Renee B
September 13, 2019
Ann Stokman
September 13, 2019
...Rest In Heaven Ms. Siddons!
September 13, 2019
I met Anne only once but she gave me a signed copy of her book. I was a nobody who worked with Heyward at Phoenix Printing. They were a beautiful couple and treated everyone with respect. RIP.
Jackie Wilson
September 13, 2019
May God be with you on your journey.
September 13, 2019
I stumbled upon Mrs. Siddons book "Off Season ". I loved it,and became a fan. At the time, I was designing a new tattoo for myself. When I saw the line "It's a poor thing if you can only love what you can see",that was it. She had a way of writing that put you in a time period;you saw what she was writing.
Thank you for sharing your gift, and thank you for the lovely quote that I wear proudly.
September 13, 2019
We shared the love of our grand parents from Fairburn. Gan Gan and Dad Rivers were her grandparents and they were my great grand parents. Their great big white farm house held many memories for her as well as for myself.

Patricia L. Brown
Patricia Brown
September 12, 2019
I loved all of Anne's books. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Colony. I lived in Maine for a while and vacation there often. Reading that book took me there. Anne, thank you for all the lovely hours of reading! RIP!
Pam Sheppard
September 12, 2019
Having grown up in the South, I don't think I ever realized how unique our culture and way of life was. That is until I read my first book by Mrs Siddons. What a wonderfully descriptive life I was living!! Thank you for opening my eyes to the truth of the South. Prayers for your family and cheers to your legacy.
Janice Howard
September 12, 2019
She was an idol of many younger girls as we all grew up together in Fairburn and it has been amazing to follow her career. My deepest sympathies to her family.
Joy Tucker Odom
September 12, 2019
Thank you for your beautiful novels which heralded strong women who found their voice and gave us all courage to follow your example and do the same in our own lives. Thank you for your poetic descriptions of the south and the beauty and joy you brought into our lives through your eloquent writing and expression.

Nicolette Miller , Westlake, Ohio
Nicolette Miller
September 12, 2019
Thank you for the pleasure of reading your great books over the years. You were an admirable Southern lady.
Jane Carr
September 12, 2019
One of my favorite authors,sad.
September 12, 2019
My grandmother, Constance Kramer, grew up in Atlanta on one of the Peachtree streets. I believe a movie theater was built on the site of her family home, at some kind of apex or crossroads. Grandma Connie introduced my mom and I to the work of Anne and we were absolutely bowled over! Quotes from "Colony" and "Outer Banks" have peppered our conversations ever since. Thank you Ms. Rivers Siddons for powerful writing that connected with thousands of souls and resonated with our own experiences! If there is drama in heaven, may it be delicious. :)
Dawn Taggblom
September 12, 2019
May you always be remembered in God memories and in ours dear Anne
September 12, 2019
My favorite low country author! I will miss reading her work...She always seemed to get it right!
Deborah Sousa
September 12, 2019
Only recently did I discover the writing of Anne Rivers Siddons. This has been my Summer for some downtime, and I have filled it catching up with my reading, including four books by ARS. They have been delightful, fun and well written, I have enjoyed each one and look forward to reading additional books by her.
My prayers and thoughts are with her family during this difficult time in your lives. She will be missed by all of us who enjoy her books.
Raleigh, NC
September 12, 2019
Valenda Newell
September 12, 2019
My condolences to your family. And may I say, Thank you for all your stories. I enjoy reading partially because of your books. My first ever was the House Next Door, which i still own. I also think a part of me that wants to retire in the Carolinas is because of the vivid way you described the beautiful low country. God bless you and your family. And thank you.
Julie Simmons
September 12, 2019
May God comfort and bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
September 12, 2019
Just went to my library and counted my Anne Rivers Siddons titles. Twenty in all. Loved every one of them! Thank you, lovely lady for all the pleasurable reading time. Rest in peace. A New Jersey girl who lives in Alpharetta, Georgia
Evy Trivisone
September 12, 2019
Godspeed Anne, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.
Harry Simpson
September 12, 2019
The blissful hours of peaceful solitude I have enjoyed while immersed in Mrs. Siddons' books, especially Peachtree Road, which I consider to be her masterpiece, are innumerable and very dear to me. It is with great sadness I learn of her passing, and I wish much peace and the comfort of fond memories and the legacy of her work to those she leaves behind.
Scott Frazer
September 12, 2019
Anne, I have so loved your books over the years. I didn't 't Just read them- I lived in them!! You are sadly missed already... May you Rest In Peace
Sheila Fort
September 12, 2019
Thank you,Anne,for bringing me many hours of pleasure and escape from the every day chores. I'm originally from Beloved state..and your love for it got me hooked on your books. Rest in Peace..I am rejoicing for you. Knowing your are reuniting with your great love,Hayward. God Bless the family and sending prayers for your comfort
Sandra Zachary
September 12, 2019
Anne Rivers Siddons is a favorite Author of mine. She brought much pleasure in reading from her Southern roots and the once beautiful Atlanta.
To her family I pray for God's peace, comfort and sweet memories of her lifetime. ❤
Susan Jewell
September 12, 2019
Thank you for your wonderful novels. You will be remembered always.
Alice Jarvis
Alice Jarvis
September 12, 2019
Showing 1 - 77 of 77 results