The Crowd:

A birthday celebration filled with kittens

September 04, 2009|By B.W. Cook

“Ninety-nine and doing fine” was the slogan greeting guests coming together at the Newport Beach Country Club recently to celebrate the 99th birthday of the beautiful, amazing Maggie Cox.

The recent Sunday birthday bash brought together a lively contingent of family and friends, some dating back more than a half century when Maggie and her family lived in the Pasadena/San Marino community before coming to the coast.

The vibrant birthday girl welcomed former San Marino neighbors Beth and Roger Liljestrom. Beating Maggie by two years was 101-year-old handsome gent Herb Nootbaar and his lovely wife, Elinor.


The Nootbaars are major supporters of USC and Pepperdine University, among other charitable endeavors with which they are generously involved.

Paul, Diane, Jennifer and Emily Morton mingled in the Newport Beach Country Club crowd sampling the Mexican food fare and chatting with guests including Pam and Carl Kubisak, Sandy and Vic Norton, Connie Unzueta, Pam Johnson, Beverly and Arlis Parkhurst, Ruthie and Leigh Collins, Martha Lea Smith, and Mary Lou and Jim Delaney, who entertained the birthday crowd with his singing talent.

Maggie’s daughters, Marilyn Wooten and Gail Finnell, joined husbands Dave Wooten and Jack Finnell in planning the upbeat affair, which was created around a cat theme representing Maggie’s love of kittens. Floral arrangements came out of cat food cans adorning tables sprinkled with faux birds and mice, adding a touch of whimsy.

Grandchildren in the crowd included Laurie Thiel, in from her home in London, with great-granddaughter Charlotte Thiel. Also sharing the wonderful occasion with their grandmother were Jill Markovsky of Costa Mesa, Annie Finnell of Newport Beach and Krista Ewart of Santa Monica. Entertainer Jim Roberts kept the party hopping as the gathering sang a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the honored lady, wishing her many more years of health and happiness.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, in conjunction with Hoag’s 552 Club, Edwards Theaters and the Regal Entertainment Group, held another sold-out successful summer movie premiere event. This year, New Line Cinema generously provided the film “The Time Traveler’s Wife” for an exclusive pre-opening screening at the largest movie theater screen on the West Coast in Newport Beach.

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