Obituary: Grace Whitney Clarendon

Lifelong Darien resident, 93, with roots back to the Revolution, founding member of Good Wife’s DAR chapter

Grace Whitney Clarendon passed away peacefully Saturday, July 7, at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan after a brief illness. She was 93.

Born May 18, 1919, in Darien, Grace lived for 57 years in a Whitney family home on Brookside Road built by her great uncle in 1870. She was married in 1943 to Henry Mowat Clarendon of Wilson Point, South Norwalk, and New York City, N.Y.

Grace was head teller at the Union Trust bank from 1956-1976. She was a founding member of the Good Wife’s River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and presided as chapter regent for several terms. She was an active member of the Darien Historical Society during it’s formative years and was a member of the Mayflower Society.

Grace served as a deacon of the First Congregational Church of Darien. She was also church historian. During that time she worked with the Rev. Ron Evans, Darien’s Masonic Ivanhoe Lodge and the Historical Society to reclaim and restore the church’s old graveyard at 320 Post Road, a cemetery that contains the gravestones of many of the town’s founding families.

Her love of Darien and its history was recorded in several articles she wrote for the local paper tracing the Bates and Whitney families from Revolutionary times through the years they farmed the land surrounding Brookside Road. She also wrote her memories of a “golden childhood” growing up with her sisters and brother on Lakeside Avenue during the 1920s through the years leading up to WWII.

Grace will be remembered for her enthusiasm and curiosity for life, her courage, wisdom and great love of family. She will also be remembered for her lovely, infectious laugh and sense of fun. She will be terribly missed.

Grace is survived by her daughter, Anita Ledsinger and her son-in-law Charles Ledsinger Jr., both of Bethesda, Md.; her grandchildren, Leila Grace Ledsinger and Katherine Elise Ledsinger both of Washington, D.C., Todd Cumberland of Los Angeles and Jack Henry Clarendon of Florida. Her son, Henry M Clarendon Jr., passed away in March 2011 in Omaha, Neb.

There will be a private family interment at the Mather Cemetery in Darien. A memorial service at the First Congregational Church will be held at a later date.