Barbara M. Luther, 94, a former political activist, mental health advocate and freelance writer, died of pneumonia Aug. 27 at Leewood Healthcare Center in Annandale. She was a longtime District resident.
"Moonwalk," a short story Mrs. Luther published in Ladies Home Journal, was made into the 1963 movie "A Ticklish Affair," starring Shirley Jones, Gig Young and Red Buttons. It became one of the first in-flight movies, when Trans World Airlines screened it for first-class passengers.
Mrs. Luther was born in Newport, R.I., and grew up in Jamestown, R.I., on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay.
As a high school student, she was a purser on the Jamestown-Newport ferry during summers.
She received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Rhode Island in 1934.
She moved with her husband to Washington in the late 1940s. Involved for many years in Democratic Party politics, she worked in the late 1950s as a special assistant in the women's division of the Democratic National Committee.
She also was a past president of the D.C. League of Women Voters.
A 1954 article in The Washington Post reported that Mrs. Luther was appointed residential chairman of the 1955 Community Chest campaign and was working 12 hours a day getting ready.
"Barbara Luther is noted for her efficiency and her wide scope of civic interests," The Post noted.
During the 1960s and 1970s, she served as director of the D.C. Mental Health Association and as a job developer at the Green Door, a rehabilitation program for people who have mental illness.
She also was involved with programs of All Soul's Unitarian Church and was an active member of the District's Home Rule Committee.
She contributed articles, fiction and poetry to The Post, the Washington Star and other publications.
One of her poems was published in 1953 in the New York Times.
She also enjoyed birding and creating works of art from shells and driftwood, which she exhibited and sold.
Her husband, Lloyd S. Luther, died in 1988.
She had no immediate survivors.