It was a celebration the way Margi would have wanted it.
Over fried chicken and coffee, her good friends gathered Saturday morning at the Southgate Apartments to remember the lady they collectively describe as "just a happy, fun-loving person."
"I've known her seven years, and she was the first lady I met here. She wore tight boots with big heels and a big smile," said Joyce Duncan. "She was the reason I moved here. I thought, 'Here is someone who still wants to live and be happy.' This is where I want to be."
Margi Johnson died Jan. 17 after a long illness. She was 83.
Margi and Ernie, her husband of 39 years, lived in Carson City for 26 years, including nine years at the Southgate Apartments. She was born Dec. 28, 1923, in Pixley, Calif. She had five children from a previous marriage.
"The thing that sticks out in my mind was her sense of humor and the way she looked at things. In a round-about way, she taught me to look for the positive in things and look at things from a new perspective. That got me through some tough times," said son Michael Robinson. "You always knew that she loved you, even if she was mad."
Her friends and neighbors said Margi was determined, when she wanted to do something, she found a way to do it. She taught herself to crochet and made dozens of afghans for friends and neighbors.
"She has a natural talent for learning new things. She saw someone else's handiwork and said 'I can do that,' and she just learned," Ernie said.
One of her afghans, designed to look like an American Flag, was hanging up on Saturday, along with pictures of Margi.
"I think this is pretty much unprecedented for this many people to be here. The majority of people in this property are women and they have been so supportive, I can't believe it," Ernie said.
While Margi loved playing pool, bingo and going shopping, crocheting remained her favorite activity. It was a skill she taught to her grandchildren.
"She sat and coached me through making a potholder. I still have that potholder and remember how to do it," said granddaughter Brandi Donovan.
Ernie said he has almost 40 years worth of memories of his wife, one thing will always stand out.
"She was always the sweetest thing in the room," he said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.