Barbara Arfsten

Obituary of Barbara J. Arfsten

Barbara J. Arfsten, 76, of East Windsor, passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2021, at University Medical Center at Princeton-Plainsboro, Plainsboro, NJ.


Born in Perth Amboy and raised in Woodbridge, Barbara was a graduate of Woodbridge High School, Class of 1963. She later attended Newark State College and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1967.  Barbara dedicated her life to education, teaching English in the classroom for over 10 years at Iselin Jr. High School and The Hun School of Princeton and then privately tutoring high school students and preparing them for college. She loved her students dearly and was fortunate to touch and be touched by the lives of so many young adults and families over the years.


Barbara’s caring spirit and generous heart could be felt by everyone she met.  She had a special gift for not only seeing the good in people but bringing out the best in them as well.  Barbara had a beautiful voice and loved to sing, even if she only knew half the words to any song.  She adored traveling and meeting new people and had a habit of collecting new friends wherever she went. She loved long walks, floating in the pool, gardening, and sitting outside with all her pretty flowers.


More than anything else, Barbara adored her family and cherished every moment she spent with them. Barbara and Don’s story began over 50 years ago in St. Thomas and Don is eternally grateful that he lost that fateful coin toss that brought him the love of his life.  Barbara’s children were her greatest joy in life.  Her son Derek made her laugh every single day and the bond she had with her daughter and best friend Krista was unbreakable.


Predeceased by her parents, Michael and Ruth (Johnson) Shannon and her sister, Kathleen; she is survived by her husband of 50 years, Donald R. Arfsten; her children, Krista Arfsten of Brooklyn, NY and Derek Arfsten of East Windsor; her brother-in-law, Tom Arfsten of Mariposa, CA; as well as the extended Johnson family; her fellow Women’s Club and Garden Club members; her beloved cat, Jelly; and too many loving friends and students to list.   


Barbara has left many meaningful and happy memories for all those who knew and loved her that will last their lifetimes.


A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, January 7, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua RC Church, 251 Franklin Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520.


Cremation services were held privately.


The Arfsten Family and the staff at the Simplicity Funeral and Cremation Services at Glackin Chapel, respectfully requests that all funeral attendees please wear a face covering of some kind during the services for Barbara. We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for your understanding.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Barbara’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association by going to the website, In Memory Of at

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Memorial Mass

10:30 am
Friday, January 7, 2022
St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church
251 Franklin Street
Hightstown, New Jersey, United States
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