Margie Chelini passed away in Santa Barbara on July 9th, a few days before her 96th birthday. She was beautiful, smart, witty and stylish her whole life and her last days were no exception. Margie had a talent for connecting with people of all ages and backgrounds and inspiring them, for making life seem magical and full of possibilities. She brought this into her life as a mother of two, Polly and Daniel Frost (deceased), and as a grandmother to Melissa Frost. She also brought it into her work as a painter. Margie’s canvases continue to make viewers smile with their explosive energy, color, and the spiritual life she captured in her subjects. She also brought it into her work as an art teacher at the Boys and Girls Club, and as a docent at the Santa Barbara Art Museum.
Margie and George Chelini were wed in 1975. It was a second marriage for both of them. George was well-known and beloved in Santa Barbara for running the Boys and Girls Clubs in the county for 37 years during which time he set up many important community programs and helped many kids get on the right track in their lives.
When George retired they bought a second home in Sedona, Arizona where they quickly became a popular part of that community. They enjoyed exploring the region together and became avid and knowledgeable collectors of Southwestern art.
Margie and George were known everywhere they went as a legendarily romantic couple, admired for their long-lasting love, respect and admiration for each other. George called her “Babe” until he passed away in June 2020. And Margie called him “Papa.” In their final time together they lived in a lovely apartment at Vista del Monte surrounded by Margie’s paintings and their Southwestern art collection. After George’s passing everyone worried how she’d do with her great loss and the isolation of the lockdown. But in typical Margie style she savored each day the way her practice of Buddhism had taught her and made two close new friends, 22 year-old Mikayla Payette and Nancy Cuellar.
Margie’s family is deeply grateful to the excellent, caring staff at Vista del Monte and to the wonderful Right at Home Santa Barbara agency run by Tina and Larry Kreider. A celebration of Margie and George’s life will be held in a few months. She is survived and will be loved forever by numerous friends, and by Polly Frost, her husband Ray Sawhill, Melissa Frost and her mother Chris, a step-son Remy Chelini, his wife Anne and their three children.