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Longest living Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main dies at 102

The 1940 Pasadena Tournament of Roses' Rose Queen Margaret Jayne Huntley Main has died at 102. 

The longest-living Rose Queen passed away in Auburn according to the Tournament of Roses. 

Two years ago, on her 100th birthday, Bob Miller, the 2022 Tournament of Roses president, surprised Main with 100 roses, a birthday cake, and her 1940 crown, which was borrowed from the archives for her to wear during a Zoom birthday party.

1940 rose queen margaret huntley main
(credit: Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade)

Main said at the time that she had dreamed of being a Rose Queen since she saw her first parade at 5 years old.

"I saw my first tournament exactly when I was 5 and a half. I remember watching the queen go down the street, and my daddy took my face, and said, 'Margaret Jane, there's more to the parade than the queen. Look down here,'" she recalled. "But he was wrong."

She was a student at Pasadena Junior College in 1939 when she was named Rose Queen, a moment that almost brought her to tears.

"These people see something that I don't know was there," Main recalled thinking.

She rode in the Rose Parade several times as a rider on the annual Kodak float built for past Rose Queens, and in 2009, she rode on the City of Roseville float.

Main had the distinct honor of having met every Rose Queen, from the first in 1905 to the 2020 queen, according to tournament officials.

The Tournament of Roses said Main is "a timeless symbol of grace, (and) will forever adorn the history of the Rose Parade."

Main was preceded in death by her husband Robert Main and daughter Linda Main Hack. She is survived by her sister Alyce Main Levy; sons John Main of Boulder City, Nevada, and Martin Main of Grass Valley; daughter Sandra Main of Auburn; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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