Col Kenneth P. Barden Jr., MSARNG (Ret.), age 65, beloved husband, father, and brother, passed away at his home in Jackson, MS, surrounded by his family on Thursday, December 26, 2013. Born November 26, 1948 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ken grew up the son of a Naval Pilot where his childhood was spent on Naval Air Stations throughout the United States, including Ford Island, Hawaii and Pensacola, Florida. In the summer of 1966, at the age of 17, Ken volunteered for the United States Marine Corp and became 1 of only 43 members of the most decorated regimental sniper platoons during the Vietnam war
; the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. Documented through publications, the Platoon's valorous participation in many high profile battles, including the battle of Hue City was a source of pride for Ken and his family. Ken went on to a long career with the Mississippi Highway Department while simultaneously serving in the Mississippi Army National Guard. Ken (The Col) spent 32 years with the Mississippi Army National Guard to include wartime service during Desert Storm before finally retiring in 2010 to his home in Jackson, MS with his beloved wife and dogs. He was an avid outdoorsmen who enjoyed fishing and golf with family and good friends. In fact, if you ever hit your ball in one sand bunker and then to another sand bunker, you've committed a "Colonel" which was appropriately named by his golfing buddies. Ken was a true American hero who believed in a firm handshake and "take your hat off in the house" mentality. Ken was a story teller! Starting with the first and last names and would tell the story in detail, using hand motions and exaggerating wherever possible. A story told by Ken was always remembered and when told a second time always took longer than the first. We're going to miss those stories but will pass them on just as he passed on his moral values and love for his family and friends. Ken is preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth Perrin Barden and Margaret McWhorter Barden; and his nephew Raymond Scott Bowen. He is survived by his beloved wife Margie Barden; son Ken Barden III, sister, Peggy Paulson; nephew Kevin Bowen; step-children Scotty, Sonja and Stephanie, 11 grand children and 2 great grand children. Visitation at Natchez Trace Funeral Home, 759 Hwy 51, Madison, MS 39110 on Saturday, December 28th at 2:00 pm with a Memorial Service to follow at 3:00 pm. Funeral Services and Internment in Resthaven Gardens of Memory, 11817 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 on Sunday, December 29th at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the Make-A –Wish Mississippi Foundation.