In Memory of




Obituary for Barbara K. Danforth

BARBARA KELTON DANFORTH: During the warm, windy night of April 12, Barbara slipped away within her beloved home in Tolland, Conn., her family nearby. Born 10 Jan 1931 on her Kelton grandparents farm in New Haven, VT, she was the firstborn of four children to Raymond and Grace (Newton) Kelton of Middlebury, VT., where Barbara then grew up. Post-graduation, she left home to work at Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Hartford during the ‘50s. While there, she met the love of her life, Stuart Danforth, her husband of 62 years. They moved to Tolland in ’57. While busy raising a family, Barbara supported efforts to create the Arts of Tolland organization, the Tolland Jail Museum, was a Girl Scout leader, as well as being active in matters both political and educational. She also helped locally introduce the Fresh Air Fund, and enjoyed receiving children into their family from New York’s inner city for many years.
For all her involvements, Barbara’s first devotion was to kinfolk and the creation of a beautiful home. An artist in her own right, her mastery of gardening, cooking, sewing, and decorating evolved through the years. Whether happily with her flowers, arranging furniture, bidding at auctions, “junking” in shops, or hosting countless dinners, everything reflected Barb’s own unique touch. Her coffee pot was always on, and folks often dropped by for a cup and a lively debate on our nation’s latest events. In ‘84, her children long grown, she further put talent to task: Barbara was the mastermind behind transforming their home into a bed and breakfast, opening their doors for 20 years to people worldwide. She was happiest when sharing its beauty with others, and her family is grateful that with the aid of Visiting Nurse and Hospice services, her wish to conclude her days at home was lovingly fulfilled.
Barbara is survived by her husband, Stuart Danforth of Tolland, Ct, daughter Karen “Kaye” Danforth and husband Paul Zenaty of Hinesburg, VT, and son Mark Danforth and his love, Brenda Anderson of Tolland, CT. She is survived by a sister, Helen O’Toole of Saint Robert, Missouri, formerly of VT and CT, widow of Gerald O’Toole, and is predeceased by her brother Raymond “Bud” Kelton, and survived by his widow Joan of Middlebury, VT. Barbara is also survived by her brother Howard Kelton and his wife Linda, of East Middlebury, VT., as well as numerous nieces and nephews throughout New England and Missouri, and countless friends worldwide.
A memorial event will be held on 15 July 2018, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at The Lodge at Crandall Park, 124 Cider Mill Rd., Tolland, CT. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either the Tolland Historical Society or the Tolland Fire Department, especially for its emergency medical assistance. For online condolences please visit