Swan Funeral Home

80 East Main Street, Clinton, CT


Marcia Whiffen Barden

December 26, 1943September 4, 2020

It is with heavy hearts, that Friday, September 4th, we had to say “until we meet again” to the Nana of our family. Marcia peacefully left her earthly life, in the beautiful afternoon sunlight, in her home. She was surrounded by her family, her ever-faithful dog Sammy, her plants, cookbooks, copper pots, platters and all of the love that made her home a place to gather.

Marcia “Nana” Barden (Whiffen) was born in New Haven, Connecticut on December 26, 1943. The daughter of Jean May Whiffen (Linsley) and Robert Westcott Whiffen. Now some might consider a birthday the day after Christmas was like drawing the short straw… However, Nana’s birthday was always a special one. It was a day to celebrate her amazing significance to our family.

She grew up in East Haven, Connecticut with her parents, grandparents, brother and sister. In her late teens, she would travel to upstate NY in the summer to see her extended family, and that’s where she met her future husband, “Pa”. The two were inseparable from that moment on.

She married her teenage sweetheart and had two children, a little house in the woods and a menagerie of animals.

Marcia’s desire to instill racial equality in her children led her to become the co-chair of the Fresh Air Fund in the early seventies. As kids, we had the fortune of meeting many other children from a diverse span of heritages. She taught us from a very young age, that right was right and wrong was most certainly wrong! She was not only a mentor to her own children, but to many, many children. To this day, we remain family with our Fresh Air family…all these decades later. She laid the foundation of kindness, compassion, honesty and sound moral ethics in every young person she met. She created a legacy that will be honored and remembered for generations to come.

She had the opportunity to mentor once again. Two brothers from Vietnam needed a home here in the United States and she opened her doors with loving arms. In 1985, she became a foster mother to Hung and Michael T. Ho for ten years.

In January 1986, Marcia had the opportunity to become a mother once again, and James became a part of our family. James was also from Vietnam. He was 15 years old and looking for a family in the United States to become a part of. My mom and dad did just that! Our family grew that year and so did our hearts. Not everyone decides to become a mom again when their kids are 17 and 19, but Marcia did. Once again, we were shown the moral foundation that was being created for us as a family.

Generous, to a fault… Nana made her house into a home and invited everyone in. Big pots of food on the stove, cups of cheer in hand and laughter around the table. Nana always had a way of bringing everyone together to gather. It certainly made for many magical memories

Her love for animals resonated completely with every animal that came into our home…and there were lots! She would always say, how we care for animals says so much about us as people. Marcia built a legacy like few others do. She taught us so many valuable qualities we carry with us today. She was a true matriarch of our family and she will be missed more dearly than anyone can imagine.

Marcia is survived by her husband, Arthur “Pa” Barden, her right arm and partner in life through nearly 55 years of marriage. She is also survived by her three children, Cathy Pendleton (Steven), Scott Barden (Allison) and James Thai (Emily), all of Clinton, CT and her three grandchildren, Christopher Kornatz (Ruthie) of Clinton, CT, Justin Barden of Clinton, CT and Alex Barden of Old Saybrook, CT. She had the wonderful fortune to become a great-grandmother in 2018 to Otto Arthur Kornatz... our little “Oakie”. Marcia is also survived by her brother and sister, Robert Cole-Whiffen (Sally) of East Haven, CT and Laurie McGrath (Robert) of Clinton, CT and nieces and nephews, Patrick Adams (Donna), Sarah Adams (Cyndee), Josh McGrath and Elizabeth Coon (Neil). Brother-in-law David Barden, Sister-in-law Kay Everding and nieces and nephews, Tim Barden, Cara Everding-Colston and Kent Everding. She also has several, very loved, grand nieces and nephews, and many very dear friends… here at home and at magical Queechy lake

She will be in very good company with the wonderful family members and dear friends that have passed before her…and she sure did know how to have fun! Time for Nana to renew, pain free and making her impact on the universe once again. If you see a bright star in the sky tonight, that’s our Nana…wishing you well. It’s been a life very well lived, indeed.

Due to the year we are experiencing, Marcia’s celebration of life services will be kept private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Clinton Fire Department, 35 East Main Street, Clinton, Ct 06413


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Marcia Whiffen Barden

have a memory or condolence to add?

George Wenk

September 10, 2020

Genuine...loving to all, kind ... that’s what I will always remember.

Patricia Collins

September 10, 2020

Beloved child of God,
Bright star in the sky,
How blessed I am that you graced my life.
Wonderful memories of our spiritual journey on this earth
bring a smile to my face and a song of joy and peace to my heart.
Your loving kindness compassion and wisdom have carried me through
many of lifes lessons and made my life richer.
The world is a better place because of your Spirit.
Until we meet again
In love light peace and blessings


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