Margie Stewart Lowe Francis passed away on the morning of May 11, 2013 at the age of 69 at her home in San Gabriel, Calif. Once given six months to live with her diagnosis of ovarian cancer she survived ten times that with grace and resilience.
Margie was born in New York City, Oct. 25, 1943, spending her early years in Norfolk, Connecticut before moving at the age of 6 with her family to Mexico, Mo. Her father William S. Lowe, who Margie's husband Merrill Francis described as "the most influential person in Margie's life," was President and CEO of A.P. Green Refractories Company in Mexico, Mo.
Margie especially enjoyed her three years at St. Mary's Hall (now Shattuck-St. Mary's School) in Faribault, Minn., where she made life long friends.
After attending William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., she married and moved to Alaska where her daughter, Laura was born. She soon relocated to St. Louis where Elizabeth was born. Margie loved her family, friends, volunteering, gardening, entertaining and fashion. Moving to San Diego with her young daughters, she began a career in merchandising, buying and operating a unique clothing store at the Bazaar del Mundo. Later she moved to Pasadena opening her own store, "Margie's Andover Boutique" in San Marino 24 years ago. Ultimately changing the name to "Margie's," it successfully continues to the present day.
She met Merrill through her success as a business owner, spending years together in Rotary, both having served as presidents during their ongoing tenure. It was during her time spent at Rotary where she may have made her most useful contributions to the community through her participation as a volunteer in many organizations. Margie's greatest joy was her family. Margie was a devoted parent and grandparent, delighting in the accomplishments of all her grandchildren.
Margie is survived by her husband, Merrill Francis; her daughters, Laura Pacchini and Laura's husband, Davide and their son Alessandro of San Francisco; and Elizabeth Schmidt Saldebar and her daughters Lindsay and Margot Saldebar of San Marino; her stepchildren, Pam Francis, Reid Francis, Heather Pearson and Jeannie Frais, their spouses and children. Margie is also survived by her sisters Barbara Lowe Rynearson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., her children and grandchildren; and Jennifer Lowe Prouty and her husband Lewis of Mattapoisett, Mass. and their children.
Margie's services were held at the Church of Our Saviour, 535 West Roses Road in San Gabriel, with the interment immediately following at the adjacent San Gabriel Cemetery on Wednesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. A celebration of her life followed the services. Contributions in her memory may be made to Huntington Hospital Cancer Center, Office of Philanthropy, 100 W. California Blvd., Pasadena, Calif. 91105.