McAllister was born October 7, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York and was 55 years of age. She is survived by her loving wife, Sarlea Anita Mah.
McAllister was the owner and operator of Lace, the first woman-owned, lesbian lounge and restaurant in Washington, D.C. to secure a safe space for women of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Lace was open from 2008 – 2013.
“Lace was a dream she had all her life,” says long-time friend Cheryl Head. “I remember when the doors first opened and we looked at the long line of women ready to come in. Her face was beaming.”
She actively promoted the stabilization of the Rhode Island Avenue NE business corridor, and supported the work of community-based organizations serving the LGBTQ population in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, including the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, DC Black Pride, the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and The DC Center.
She received her B.A. at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, and her graduate degree from Howard University in D.C. She was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supervisory Social Worker for the District of Columbia’s Department of Child and Family Services. She also was a dedicated member of Unity of Washington, D.C. church. Before working in D.C., McAllister was a Director of a homeless shelter in Arlington, VA, helping individuals develop their strengths in the job market.
“I remember Linda being a person of vast curiosity. She really wanted to make her community better and her city better,” says Head. “She was committed to leading change.”
McAllister will be remembered and honored at a Celebration of Life, scheduled for Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Unity of Washington, DC, 1225 R Street NW 20002. Reverend, Sylvia E. Sumter, will officiate. All, are welcome to attend and rejoice in Linda’s life.
“There are not too many people who leave a footprint on the lives of others as humbly as Linda McAllister Mah,” says Gladece Knights, a local promoter and friend. “She gave of herself and she did it humbly and with grace. She will not be forgotten.”
Flowers and condolences can be sent to: McGuire Funeral Service, 7400 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20012.