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In Memoriam

Margaret Ann Mack

April 13, 1918 – May 5, 2022

In Memoriam Margaret Ann Mack

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Photos courtesy of the Mack Family

Margaret Ann Mack painting in Heisler Park, at almost 103 years of age

Margaret Ann Mack was born April 13, 1918 to Hugh Rinehart Chilberg and Ann Sylvester Chilberg in Chicago, Illinois. The Chilberg family is an early pioneer family of Seattle, Washington. Margaret’s mother, Ann Sylvester, was born in Wrangell, Alaska. One of Margaret’s grandmothers was Tlingit, originally from the Telegraph Creek area of British Columbia. Margaret’s grandfather, Rufus Sylvester, owned Trading Posts in British Columbia. The family relocated to Wrangell, Alaska in the 1890s, and Rufus built a sawmill there.

In Memoriam Margaret engaged

Margaret at age 19 in her engagement photo, 1937

Margaret married Duane William Mack in 1937, having met him in San Bernardino when his vehicle mysteriously broke down in front of her house during his paper route. They had six children: John Duane, Joan Diane, Carol Ann, Margaret Eleanor, Kathleen Annette, and Colleen Susan.

Duane was working for California Institute of Technology in Pasadena when he became part of the Navy-Caltech rocket program. This led the family to be one of the first three families to move to what was then called NOTS, and later became known as China Lake. In December 1944, the family of five temporarily moved into an apartment that didn’t yet have hot water until the completion of construction on a duplex building on Dibb Road which then became their permanent home.

During this time, Duane was a civilian who worked with the Department of Defense as a Range Engineer in charge of Charlie Range.

The children first attended school in Quonset Huts, but soon a permanent school was finished and the children attended the Sherman E. Burroughs Campus located at the end of Dibb Road.

Margaret found many friends who shared her interests. She greatly enjoyed meeting with her artistic friends, and was a member of the Desert Art League, where they would paint or draw still life objects in different mediums. Often her group of artists would go out into the desert and paint the beautiful desert scenery. Margaret became well known as an artist, and sold many of her paintings that became treasures to the families who purchased them – though her husband Duane was known for putting some paintings off-limits.

Margaret participated in several art exhibitions at the Base Community Center, including one exhibit that she and her mother, who was also an artist, did together. She was involved in setting up the annual Kern County Art Show, and participated in the Desert Flower Arrangement Club on the Base where every year during the wildflower season, exhibits of local flowers were displayed with labels.

In Memoriam Margaret and Duane

Margaret and her husband Duane on Laguna’s Main Beach, circa 2005

In 1972, Duane retired and they relocated to Laguna Beach. One of Margaret and Duane’s favorite daily activities was to walk from their house to the nearby park, which connected to many of the beautiful beaches. As a couple, they became so well known in the community that an artist painted a mural on one of the beaches of them holding hands.

After Duane passed away in 2010 at the age of 92, Margaret continued to live in Laguna Beach until her passing. Margaret always loved being around people, and enjoyed going to the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center to participate in art classes until her last few years.

Margaret is the longest standing member of the Patience Wright Chapter of the Laguna Beach Daughters of the American Revolution.

Margaret is survived by her son John Mack (Marilyn passed in April of 2021); daughters Diane Musick, Carol Seaman (Kenneth) and Kathy Short (Robert); six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren (she was expecting a new great-great-grandchild in July); nephews; and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband Duane William, sister Jane Robinson, brother John Chilberg, daughters Margaret and Colleen.

Because her home was located a few blocks from the ocean, it was a favorite destination for family visits, and it was Margaret’s wish to be able to live in her home until she passed. Because of the dedication of her youngest daughter, she was able to have this wish fulfilled. She also had a team of caregivers who loyally provided care for her.

A private graveside service is being held on May 10, 2022 at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, California. A link can be viewed here where you can leave comments for Margaret.


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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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