Barbara Littlejohn
Oct 08, 2013 | 639 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Barbara Bruce Bairnsfather Littlejohn, 90, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.

She was born in London, England, on Dec. 26, 1922, to the late Capt. Bruce and Celia Bairnsfather. Her father was a prominent British humorist and cartoonist, best-known for his World War I cartoon character “Old Bill.”

In the winter of 1941, Barbara enlisted in His Majesty’s Auxiliary Territorial Service and was assigned to the Royal Signal Corps, stationed at Bletchley Park, England. This was the site of the British armed forces cryptography operations, where cyphers and codes of several Axis countries were decrypted, most importantly the cyphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Rising to the rank of second lieutenant, she was a special operator in the Y Signals Group, expertly trained to receive wireless Morse-coded radio intercepts for processing and decryption. In July of 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown awarded her an HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge from the Government Code and Cypher School, for vital service performed during World War II.

After the war, in 1946, she emigrated to the United States where she attended the Lincoln School in Providence, R.I. It was in Providence that she would meet her future husband, William F. Littlejohn Jr., then a student at Brown University. They married in 1948, and soon after relocated to the Washington, D.C., suburb of McLean, Va. She became a United States citizen in 1955.

A devoted and beloved mother to six children, she was a member of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Bethesda, Md., and a volunteer in numerous community groups and organizations, including The American Legion, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Girl Scouts. In 1973, following her husband’s retirement, the couple moved to West Lebanon, Maine, where she resided until her husband’s death in May 2000.

She was an accomplished artist who continued painting well into her 80s. She also enjoyed horseback riding, gardening and antique collecting, and especially loved their travels to Europe, including extended stays in the English countryside near Salisbury.

She is survived by her six children: Bruce Littlejohn (Fredericksburg, Texas), Ann Bayliss (Cleveland), Janet Farella (Arlington, Va.), Margaret Nelson (Dudley, Maine), William Littlejohn (San Diego) and Andrew Littlejohn (Los Angeles); and eight grandchildren: Lindsay and Christopher Nelson, Katherine and Andrew Littlejohn, Adele and Emily Farella and Will and Lauren Littlejohn.

A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Christian Church in Rochester, N.H., on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m., with internment following at the Forest Grove Cemetery, North Lebanon, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Family Home and Hospice Care, 175 24th St. N.W., Cleveland TN 37311. The telephone number is 423-559-6092.

Jim Rush Funeral Homes, North Ocoee Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

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