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Memorial Services Pending for Margie Petersen

Memorial services were pending today for Margie Petersen, a longtime philanthropist who co-founded the Petersen Automotive Museum with her late husband, publishing magnate Robert Petersen.

Margie Petersen died Friday at her home in Beverly Hills after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 76.

A New York native, Petersen worked as a model and actress in television commercials, including spots for Ivory Soap and Coca-Cola.

As husband to Robert Petersen, she spearheaded many of the couple’s philanthropic efforts. They owned the Scandia restaurant on the Sunset Strip and the Petersen Galleries. She was also did charitable work with the Music Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Orphanage Guild and Childhelp U.S.A.

She helped raise millions of dollars for a women’s cancer research center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. In 2008, the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation gave $15 million to the St. John’s Health Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute. She was also a founder of STOP Cancer and a member of the Associates for Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Studies.

Robert Petersen died of cancer in 2007. Their two sons died in a plane crash in 1975.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036; or to any charity of choice in Margie Petersen’s honor.

Copyright © 2011 CNS

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