Linda Mah (nee McAllister) died with her wife, Sarlea Anita Mah, by her side on Oct. 29. She was 55 and died of cancer, according to her friend, Cheryl Head.
Mah was born Oct. 7, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York and was a long-time Washington resident, having lived here since 1995.
Mah was the owner and operator of lesbian bar Lace in the Brookland/Woodbridge area of Ward 5 where she also lived. It was the first woman-owned, lesbian lounge and restaurant in D.C. to secure a safe space for women of all ages, races and ethnicities for socializing, dining and dancing. It was open from 2008-2013.
Mah promoted the stabilization of the Rhode Island Ave., N.E. business corridor and supported the work of LGBT organizations such as the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, D.C. Black Pride, the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the D.C. Center.
She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas and earned a graduate degree from Howard University. She was a licensed clinical social worker and supervisory social worker for the District of Columbia Department of Child and Family Services. She was a member of the Unity of Washington, D.C. Church.
A service is planned for Saturday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. at Unity (1225 R St., N.W.). Rev. Sylvia E. Sumter will officiate. All are welcome. Flowers and condolences may be sent to McGuire Funeral Service, 7400 Georgia Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20012.