She was born on September 4, 1943, in Massachusetts, the daughter of the late Roger Lyndon, the noted mathematician, and Barbara Whitmer. She was raised in Unity, New Hampshire, by her mother, the late Barbara (Whitmer) Clark and the late Alan “Buddy” Clark.
She received her B.A. and an M.A. in American women’s history from Goddard College. She then taught for many years in a Goddard College undergraduate program for low-income adults.