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Barbara Ayres Mason, 86, of Groton, Connecticut, and Satellite Beach, Florida, took her final journey on August 13, 2011 at the Kindred Crossings West in New London. She was born in Chicago in 1925, the only child of Herman Heinrich Von Glahn and Helen Ayres. She grew up in Evanston and Winnetka, Illinois.
After earning her B.A. in English literature from Rockford College and her M.A. at Northwestern University, she joined the Army Security Agency, forerunner of the National Security Agency, as an analyst in Washington, D.C. There she met her husband, Frederic Ogden Mason, Jr., who claimed to have grown up only six blocks away from her in Winnetka. Barbara found this suspect and had her mother check out his story. Not only did he live six blocks away, but his family had a three-digit phone number, which meant that they were among the original residents.
Fred and Barbara lived in France, England, and Germany for many years, raising their family and traveling all over the world. They returned to Maryland where Fred continued to work for NSA at Fort Meade. Their lovely home on the Magothy River was the site of great clambakes with neighbors and fellow sailing enthusiasts.
The couple finally retired to Satellite Beach, Florida, but continued to take at least one big trip a year (China, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Singapore, Korea, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Canada). Barbara remained in Florida for another 14 years after Fred's death in 1991, keeping active in the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church and her Bible study C-group, enjoying monthly dinners with the D.O.G.s, volunteering with Meals and Wheels, and ushering for the local theater group.
She spent the last six years in Connecticut closer to her family. Barbara loved travel (her last trip was to Australia), Puccini operas, mystery novels, her dogs and cats, spending time with friends, and a good glass of wine.
Barbara is survived by her daughter, Deborah Kindel; and her son-in-law, George of East Lyme; their three daughters, Jean Kindel Donaldson and her husband, Brian of Westford, Mass., Dr. Susan Kindel Bailey and her husband, Kevin of Churchville, N.Y., and Stephanie Kindel of Mystic. Barbara also enjoyed getting to know her two great-granddaughters, Clara Jean and Kaitlyn Maeve Donaldson. In addition, Barbara is survived by her son, Christopher David Mason; her sister-in-law, Lois Mason Towers and her husband, Charles, of Walpole, Mass.; her cousin, Eunice Ayres of New Hampton, Iowa; and several nieces and nephews.
Her brother-in-law and his wife, Roswell Mason; and Barbara Wright Mason Skinner, of Winnetka, Illinois, predeceased her.
Rusty, her Irish terrier, and Lucky, her white Maine Coon cat, cheered her last years. Barbara bids a fond farewell to good friends, Margo, Kelly, and Tim. Thank you for brightening her last months with frequent visits.
At her request, Barbara's ashes will be sprinkled with her husband's in the memorial garden at Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in Satellite Beach, Florida.
Byles Memorial home, 99 Huntington St., New London is assisting with the arrangements.
Please visit www.byles.com to sign the family guestbook.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Aug. 17, 2011