Margie Cleary, a Manhattan Beach resident for over 60 years, passed away April 5, 2021 at the age of 87 after a short illness. Born Marjorie Hopper on Sept. 24, 1933 in San Diego, California, to Duane Hopper a Cadillac salesman and Ruth Hopper a newspaper columnist, her family relocated to the Los Angeles area shortly thereafter. She graduated from Hamilton High School and later attended Los Angeles College. She met her husband Robert Cleary in her early 20s, and they married in 1957 and moved to Manhattan Beach. In 1964 they bought their first home on Walnut Ave in the tree section and several years later moved to their second home on Meadows Ave. In 1974, they purchased a lot on 1st Street in the Hill section and built a custom home that Margie helped design. That home became House of the Year in 1976 and Margie lived there until November 2020.
Margie had a 40-year marriage and love affair with husband Robert until he passed away in 1998. If you asked Margie what she loved most in life, she would say dogs, real estate, and most importantly, her family. She had a special place in her heart for animals, but dogs in particular. If you came to the Cleary house, you always knew you would be greeted by a couple friendly dogs. They were a constant companion for her, and she volunteered countless hours at shelters and rescue programs. She was even known to take in stray dogs and take care of them until she found them a forever home.
Her love for real estate began in the 1960s, where she worked for Bill Walters Realty and later at Real Estate West. It was more a passion than a job for her. Even after she retired from real estate, a favorite pastime was attending open houses around the South Bay with her daughter and granddaughter. One of her favorite events was the annual Sophisticated Snoop Home Tour organized by her longtime friend, the late Debbie Walmer.
Margie was into healthy eating and exercise well before it was in vogue. She attended aerobic and yoga classes weekly at the Bay Club into her 86th year. She also walked her dogs regularly. She was a kind, generous, and loving person with a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh. We were lucky to have her in our lives and she will be dearly missed.
Margie is survived by her two children, Kevin and Kathleen, Kathleen's husband Jim, and her two grandchildren Cali and Michael.
Published by The Beach Reporter on May 12, 2021.