Born in Minneapolis, Minn., on Nov. 30, 1925, she was the second of seven children born to Alice and Phillip Mildenberger.
Margaret grew up in Minnesota, met her husband Lester W. Larson and married him when she was 19 years old. Margaret and Lester had their son Paul in Minnesota and moved to Alameda, Calif. three years later. While in Alameda, shortly after their move, they had a daughter Cheryl. The Larson family bought a home in San Leandro, Calif. and had their youngest addition, a daughter Karen, in 1956. Margaret was a homemaker and later became an outside sales accountant for Bennett’s Photography. She also was a dance teacher for Arthur Murray Studios. She was a lover of classical music and became an excellent oil painter. Her paintings have become treasures for her children. She continued in all her hobbies and played golf well into her 80’s.
After their children all grew and moved away, Lester and Margaret bought some land in Sonora, Calif. and built a retirement home in the mountains. They lived there several years, near her sister and brother, and later moved to Yacolt, Wash. While living in Yacolt, and taking many trips with family, Lester suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and died shortly afterwards.
Lester’s death prompted Marge to move to Lake Aguadongo, Minn. to be near her relatives. She lived on the lake’s edge and had a 25-foot pontoon boat with twin engines. Often she was found on the lake by herself, fishing for steelhead and putting around in her boat.
Later she relocated to Laguna Hills, Calif. in the Leisure World development. She was active and a golfer at their three golf courses and became more involved in painting clubs and similar activities. When her son Paul and his wife Debbie moved to Whidbey Island, Margaret decided to investigate the “island life.”
Marge rented a home near her son and daughter-in-law to see if she could tolerate the weather on Whidbey. She came to love the island, bought five acres near Freeland, Wash. and built a home. Marge found the lack of close neighbors and the expanse of acreage too much, so she sold her property and bought a home in a neighborhood where she made friends. An avid reader all of her life — she would read a book a day and was a proficient crossword master — Marge became a volunteer teaching local children English skills.
After having a near fall going up and down the stairs, Margaret decided she might benefit from senior housing. She ultimately ended up in Independent Living at Regency on Whidbey in a two bedroom cottage. Margaret loved the endless activities and quality of life. She was a good Pinochle player and joined the Bridge Group. She hosted poker games. Twice a week she helped residents enjoy times with each other; taking neighbors out for dinners, and to the nearby casinos. Her good luck was well known by those at Regency.
Margaret began having some physical struggles and decided to move into Regency’s assisted living apartments. She continued her activities up until several medical episodes prevented her from being so mobile. A very independent soul, she resented any blockades to her active lifestyle. She proudly declared her driver’s license wouldn’t expire until she was 97.
Margaret succumbed at 91 years old, only one month from her 92nd birthday, to her weakening heart on the morning of Oct. 19, 2017, at Regency. She was surrounded by her family and friends.
Those surviving Marge are one sister, her three children, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and a horde of nieces, nephews and other family around the country.
She touched many hearts during her life, and will be missed by so many. She loved the Lord and her salvation is known. Before she died she discussed seeing Jesus and hoping to see her father and those who left and are waiting to greet her in heaven.
A public memorial is being planned at Regency on Whidbey. A private service will take place in Oregon, where Margaret will be buried with her late husband Lester, at Willamette National Cemetery in the spring.
The Larson family would like to thank Regency on Whidbey for all their care and compassion. Margaret requested no flowers, but encouraged you all to make donations to your place of worship, in her name.
Arrangements entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, Wash.