"I tried to make every one of my clients stars," she said. "I was happy to serve."
Heldt's salon was "one of the real lighthouses of the beauty industry," said Paul Dykstra, CEO of Cosmetologists Chicago, which has dedicated the scholarship in her name.
The Margaret Vinci Heldt Scholarship will be given to a young, promising stylist for advanced study.
"Basically, she is a legacy," Dykstra said of Heldt, who has been a member of the trade group for 70 years. "Margaret is the grand dame of our association.
"She has the respect of all the members, as well as the all the industries around the country," he said. "She is also incredibly giving, always interested in mentoring young stylists and always willing to take the time to give what she knew. She just loves hair."
Heldt still lives independently in a senior community, where she exudes the same enthusiasm about style as she did when she was hairdressing. She kicks up her heels at a happy hour every Friday night and enjoys vodka martinis.
"I get two of them," she said.
"I pretend I am going to Shangri-La, you know, where everyone stays young and falls in love," she said. "I leave my eyeglasses and my cane at home, and I go and dance. I go to Shangri-La and feel young for an hour."