Susan Mason with her daughter Mary Mason in July
Susan Mason with her daughter Mary Mason in July Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Susan Mason, one of four residents of The Washington Home who sued to block the sale of the nursing home property to Sidwell Friends School, died Wednesday. She was 74.

Mason spent the final eight years of her life at the nursing home in Tenleytown. Mason, who for much of her career was the director of alumni affairs for Bard College in New York, was living in Kansas City when she suffered a stroke during hip surgery. Her daughter Mary Mason, a D.C. resident, then moved her to The Washington Home.

Mason’s passing was sudden and unexpected, said Ivan Mayfield, the co-chair of the nursing home’s family council along with Mary Mason.

Mason and three other residents sued The Washington Home in July over the sale to Sidwell, arguing that the residents should have had the chance to use the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act to let a different nursing home operator purchase the property instead of Sidwell. The Washington Home has argued that TOPA does not apply to nursing homes.

The deed transfers to Sidwell on Dec. 15, and the nursing home has told residents to either move out by Oct. 2 or have specific plans in place to leave.

During a hearing in the case on Sept. 14, an attorney for The Washington Home said that even if the plaintiffs succeed in blocking the sale of the property, the nursing home will still stop operating in December, as scheduled.

As of last week, 30 residents were still living at The Washington Home.