Born March 10, 1914, Mrs. Silsby was the eldest of five daughters. She was born and raised in Detroit. After her father’s untimely death when she was nine, she was forced to grow up quickly and help raise her younger sisters.
After graduating from high school, she began working on the production line at Briggs Manufacturing Company. While there she met and married Ford Charles Silsby, a Michigan State University graduate working at Cunningham Drugs. Soon separated by World War II, her husband was sent to the European theater and she became a “Rosie the Riveter”, building airplanes at Briggs and combat vehicles at the Chrysler Tank Plant.
Once reunited, the young couple moved to Roscommon, where they opened the corner patent medicine Au Sable Store in 1946 and operated it together for the next 25 years. They were Roscommon residents for over 50 years.
Mrs. Silsby was a member of the Roscommon Congregational Church, a leader of Job’s Daughters and actively involved in the Roscommon Area Historical Society. Upon her husband’s death in 1997, she founded the Ford and Marguerite Silsby Scholarship Fund for local high school students through the Roscommon County Community Foundation. The Silsby’s were honored to start a scholarship that would assist the young people of the Roscommon Area Public School District with their advanced education. Because Marguerite was a very caring person, she spent her time sewing teddy bears for cancer patients and lap robes for vets, knitting hats for newborn babies and making ragdolls for the church bazaars. She also enjoyed gardening and visiting with friends and family.
The Ford & Marguerite Silsby Scholarship is used to provide scholarship assistance to one or more graduating Roscommon High School seniors who will attend accredited colleges, universities, trade or vocational schools, with strong consideration given to qualified students who are members of the First Congregational Church of Roscommon or its successor.