Though he was only first grade, Daniel Barden was very much an “old soul.” At the age of 4, he displayed an empathy for others remarkable for a child so young. It didn’t go unnoticed-teachers chose Daniel to be paired with a special education student at his school. He carried that kindness with him as he got older. “He would hold doors open for adults all the time,” said his father, Mark Barden. He laughed, remembering the times he’d be “halfway” across a parking lot and see his son still holding a door for strangers. “Our son had so much love to give this world,” Barden said. Daniel Barden earned his ripped jeans and two missing front teeth, his parents said. Fearless in his pursuit of happiness and life, he was a budding athlete, a member of the swim team and an avid soccer player. “Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was. Such a light,” his parents, Mark and Jackie Barden, said in a statement. “Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy.” On Friday, 7-year-old Daniel, who was one of the 20 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, woke up early. He played foosball with his mother. “As usual, Daniel won,” she said. The score was 10 to 8. His father also taught him how to play “Jingle Bells” on the piano that morning. “We did a lot in that half hour,” he said. A celebration of Daniel’s life will be held Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.


Daniel Gerard Barden,7, of Sandy Hook, born September 27, 2005, in Pawling, N.Y., cherished son of Jacqueline and Mark, beloved brother of James and Natalie, left the physical world too son, on December 14, 2012.

Daniel was the light of his family’s life. Adored and admired by all, Daniel touched the lives of all who knew him with his warmth, inspiring spirit of kindness, and generosity, outgoing and affectionate nature, and his imaginative play.

He loved spending time with his family, both immediate and extended, riding waves at the beach, playing the drums in a band with his brother James and his sister Natalie, foosball, reading, and making s’mores around the bonfire with his cousins at his “Papa’s” house in Smallwood, N.Y. Daniel was on the Newtown soccer team and the Newtown Torpedoes swim team.

In addition to his immediate family, Daniel is survived by his grandmother Anne Barden of Yonkers, N.Y. and grandfather Martin Giblin of Smallwood, N.Y. Daniel leaves behind many aunts, uncles, and cousins who will miss him immensely: Rosaleen Giblin Murchison and husband, Peter, of Ridgefield, and their children Cristen, John, Michael, and Matthew and his wife, Lizzie; Martin Giblin of Bronxville, N.Y.; Michael Giblin of Frederick, Md. and his daughters Laura, Madeline, Jackie Pickett and husband, Duane, and their children Mariah and Neil, and Corrinne Downs and husband, Kenny, and their children Audrey and Leah; Madeline Giblin O’Neill and husband, Michael, and their daughter, Lauren, of Ridgefield; James Giblin of the Bronx, N.Y.; Donald Giblin and wife, Cathy, and their children Gerard, Jamie, and Catherine of Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Kathleen Giblin of Rhinebeck, N.Y.; Christine Giblin Risoli and husband, Matthew, and their children Michael and Jane of Newtown; James Barden of New York, N.Y.; Timothy Barden and wife, Mary, and their daughter Anna of Portland, Maine; and Carl Barden of Deland, Fla. Daniel was preceded in death by his grandmother Madeline Giblin; grandfather James Barden, Sr; and uncle Gerard Paul Giblin.

A celebration of Daniel’s life will begin with a wake, Tuesday, December 18, from 5 to 8, at St. Rosa of Lima Catholic Church, 46 Church Street, Newtown. A funeral will follow Wednesday, December 19, at 10 AM, at St.Rose.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Daniel’s name to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Checks may be dropped off at any Newtown Savings Bank or you may donate on-line, at