Marguerite Stephanie Perkins Mautner passed away peacefully on Monday, April 15. She was a woman for all seasons—strong-minded and idealistic—who loved beauty in all its forms: music, art, sport, travel and gardening.
An only child, Marguerite was born in Augsburg, Germany, to Irma Neu and Alfred Wertheimer. She came to the U.S. in 1936 when her family fled Nazi Germany. At first, she spoke no English, but was a fast learner and adjusted well to her new country.
She grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, and attended New Trier High School where she was the only girl to receive a varsity letter in debate. She worked her way through Northwestern University’s School of Speech and Journalism as a tennis pro, and began her professional career in radio and television in Chicago.
It was during a hospital stay for appendicitis that Marguerite met medical intern and future husband Maxwell Perkins. Following their marriage in 1950, she and “Perk” lived in the Missouri Ozarks where she gave birth to their three children and also built a hospital for her husband’s medical practice.
In 1957 the family moved to Santa Monica where she became active as a legislative liaison to the Los Angeles Medical Association and legislative analyst for Santa Monica and St. John’s Hospitals where she served for 17 years. Her volunteer work with charitable organizations included the Spastic Children’s Foundation, B’nai Brith and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
The family moved to Pacific Palisades in 1960 at the location Marguerite was to live out the rest of her life. After 32 years of marriage, Maxwell sadly passed away in 1982.
In 1984, Marguerite was set up on a blind date with Leonard Mautner who was to become her second husband—they were married in Hawaii in 1985. Following their marriage, Marguerite and Leonard built a new house on her property, which Marguerite designed herself. The newly decorated home was featured in the Palisadian-Post. The couple enjoyed travel and life together until Len’s passing in 2006.
Marguerite joined the University Synagogue in Brentwood in 1959 and was a dedicated member. She had her bat mitzvah there in 1994.
Marguerite volunteered for many years on the board of the Pacific Palisades Community Council, rising to the position of president. In 2012 she was honored with the Pacific Palisades Community Service Award.
Among her many other accomplishments, she was president of the California Riviera Homeowners Association, was a regular performer at Theatre Palisades and was a dedicated sponsor of the UCLA Mautner Lecture Series, begun by Leonard in 1983.
As a benefactor of many charitable causes, Marguerite will be remembered for her kind and enduring generosity. Her loyalty to her friends and employees alike, as well as the deep integrity and sincerity with which she lived her entire life, was deeply felt by all who had the privilege to know her.
Marguerite is survived by her sons, Lewis and David Perkins, her daughter, Deborah Kala Perkins, her grandchildren, Maxine and Kevin, and three great-grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. She believed “age is a number and hers was unlisted.”
Marguerite will live within our hearts forever and surely be missed deeply by all who were blessed to feel her love.
Memorial services took place at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Los Angeles, on Friday, Apri1 19.