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Obituary: Kenneth Edward Barden

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

Concord, Calif.

Kenneth Barden, in his 98th year, passed away peacefully in his sleep due to old age September 26, 2020. 

Kenneth Edward Barden

Kenneth was born July 12, 1923, on his family’s farm near Penn Yan, near four corners in the road called Benton Center. He spent his early years working on the farm but liked his school studies much better. He graduated from Penn Yan Academy receiving New York Regents’ Scholarship to attend college. He enrolled in Cazenovia College where he played varsity basketball and baseball. The onset of war interrupted his college career. He enlisted in the Navy as an Ordinary Seaman entering the Navy’s V12 program at Ithaca College in preparation for Officers’ Training School. He was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy and assigned to an Attack Transport, the USS Charles Carroll. The Charles Carroll was assigned to the Okinawa Invasion fleet. On April 1, 1945, 7 Higgins Boats commanded by Lieutenant Barden took infantrymen and supplies into the beaches of Okinawa. During the campaign, his ship suffered heavy damage in a Kamikaze attack and returned to San Francisco for repairs.

While in port he met a naval nurse, Dorothy Shaw, of Richmond, Calif. They kept in touch as his ship made trips to the Pacific delivering supplies and returning troops to the west coast. He was mustered out of the Navy into the Naval Reserve in mid-1946. On Aug. 3, 1946, he married Dorothy Shaw in Berkeley, Calif. On Aug. 3, 2013, exactly 67 years to the day, Joscelyn Barden was married to Aaron Strasser in Seattle, Washington. A highlight of the wedding reception was Kenneth’s toast to the newlyweds. Kenneth and Dorothy moved to New York where Kenneth taught at Gorham High school while finishing his B.A. degree and Dorothy worked as a nurse. In 1950 they returned to the West Coast with their two children. Kenneth began teaching in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Dorothy worked as a nurse for a local doctor. He remained active in the Naval Reserve doing active duty summers and continued taking college courses. He became a speech pathologist before going into district Administration as a Child Welfare & Attendance Consultant. After 35 years he retired. Ken and Dorothy enjoyed retirement together traveling, golfing, and welcomed two grandchildren. Dorothy passed away in 1999 after 53 years of marriage. Kenneth remained active in later years sitting on the Vallejo Urban Renewal Advisory Commission and working on Senior Legislative affairs.

Kenneth is predeceased by his father and mother, Frank and Vera (Seymour) Barden; his sisters, Jill Sleight and Lucille Gardner; and his daughter, Joy Barden. Kenneth is survived by his brother, Jerry Barden of Dansville; his son, Drew (Christine); granddaughter, Joscelyn Strasser (Aaron); great-granddaughter, Farrah Strasser; Joy’s son, Nicholas Amman (Ashleigh); and great-grandchildren, Emmerson and Kaden Ammann; as well as nieces and nephews along the east coast and New York.

Kenneth’s wishes were that his ashes be spread at sea by the U.S. Navy.