Resilient, loving and dedicated were the most common descriptions that friends bestowed on the late Margaret Zank during Saturday's "celebration of life" event at the Hesperia home of Paula and Dennis Nowicki.
"They were a link to our parents' generation," Dennis Nowicki said. "These were tremendous people. Gil and Margaret were inseparable. They were great together."
After moving to Hesperia decades ago, the couple became deeply involved with the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce. Margaret Zank, who died last month at 87, was almost always by her husband's side. Her husband was the front man who drummed up new members while she supported his every move.
Gil Zank serves as a community liaison to First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt.
"Margaret Zank was an amazing woman," said Ken Nowicki, the son of Paula and Dennis. "They showed me the strength of love. The love they showed carried over to every other part of their lives."
"Margaret became like a second mom," said Ben Lamson. "I never met more special people than them."
Hesperia Church of the Nazarene Pastor David Penn, who opened the event with a testimony of Margaret Zank's enduring character and a prayer, talked about how she transcended polio at the age of 3, the Great Depression and World War II.
"She was able to do all these things and do them with joy," Penn said. "That's God's grace."
"God is with her," said Scott Freeborg. "We're going to miss her a lot. She's one great woman."