Barbara Reed

Obituary of Barbara Reed

Barbara Thurman Reed of Boston, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2017 at home in Potomac Falls, Va. 

Barbara was born to Maj. Allen G. Thurman and Dorothy Fitch Thurman on Dec. 3, 1922 in Boston, Ma. She had two sisters. Her father died when she was 4 years old. When her mother re-married Maj. Gen. Harry Malony in 1928, Barbara gained a brother of the same age. The family lived on numerous Army posts, including Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C.  Barbara attended George Washington University, and belonged to Pi Beta Phi Sorority. 

In 1942, Barbara married Ensign Dale C. Reed--as soon as the marriage ban for Naval Academy graduates was lifted during World War II. As a war bride, Barbara lived with her grandmother in Massachusetts and had two daughters. After the War, a son and a third daughter were born. Barbara and Dale embraced military life. They moved over 20 times and remained a devoted couple whether together or apart. 

A favorite home during retirement was Golden Meadows in West Va., with a house originally built in 1745 and 28-acre farm. Barbara completed all the research required to list the Morgan-Gold property on the National Registry of Historic Places. Barbara and Dale also maintained properties in Arlington, Va., Hamilton, Va. and Gloucester, Mass.

Barbara was clearly gifted and developed numerous interests. Her gardens were legendary. She loved genealogy and spent decades researching family ancestors. She was a member of Society of Mayflower Descendants, Daughters of the American Revolution, National Society of Colonial Dames, and United Daughters of the Confederacy. She enjoyed history, music, and entertaining and had a ready laugh. Pragmatic and resourceful to the core, she could do and repair almost anything. 

She often served as a community volunteer, and excelled in her role of representing the U.S. during overseas assignments. Her favorite volunteer job was with the Smithsonian Institute.

Barbara is survived by Capt. Dale C. Reed, her husband of 74 years; daughter Barbara Loraine Reed of Irvine, Ca.; daughter Phoebe Reed Storey of Stockton, Ca.; daughter Robyn Reed Eustis and husband John of Arlington, Virginia; daughter-in-law Gayle Ponto Reed of San Diego, Ca.; and sister Alice Merritt Overly of Oakmont, Pa. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, six great grandchildren, five nieces, and a nephew. She is preceded in death by son Dale Charles Reed of San Diego, Ca.; sister Dorothy Anne Neely of Sarasota, FL; step-brother James Lockett Malony of Tinton Falls, NJ; three brother-in-laws and two nephews.

A private service for immediate family was held April 20, 2017 in Potomac Falls, Va. A funeral service will be held at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 3:00 PM.   Burial will follow at Arlington National Cemetery.

In honor of Barbara’s love of gardening, those who wish to may donate a tree to be planted in her memory in a National Forest through the National Arbor Day Foundation ( Other choices include and, both of which plant trees in National Parks;, which plants trees in areas in need of reforestation; or simply plant your own tree in a thoughtful place.