A resident of Amador County for nearly 50 years, Margaret (Marge) C. Silliman who spent the first days of her work life planning parties for families of soldiers returning from World War II, passed away Nov. 11 of natural causes—just days after celebrating her 92nd birthday with family and longtime friends.
Marge was born Nov. 7, 1927, in Queens, N.Y., to Jennie and Anthony Williams, who were first-generation Italian-Americans. Her father designed Roy Rogers leather items for the Classy Products Co. and her mother made a home for four other children. The family lived mainly in South Ozone Park during her youth.
She worked for Macy’s on Fifth Avenue in New York City and then Gump’s Department Store in the party favors department helping families celebrate returning war vets. After taking a key punch course, she then worked with early IBM computers. When her sisters moved to the S. F. Peninsula in California, she followed them out west. Her last job before raising a family was at Stanford University in the administration department, where she had assisted in archiving Nazi war documents at the Hoover Institute.
She loved to sing and whistle and had a beautiful voice, and this attracted the attention of her future husband, Harold, in Belmont, where he was a firefighter. (He called her “my little songbird.”) They married in 1952 and had a daughter, Janeen, and son, Harold (Hal), and made their home in Redwood City. She later worked as a receptionist for Ernst Realty of Menlo Park.
The family moved to Amador County in 1970, building a home on Shake Ridge Road. Marge was curious about the natural world and interested in geology—an inveterate rock collector—and had hobbies in quilting and oil painting and other crafts. She volunteered for more than 25 years at the Amador Senior Center and for the Interfaith Food Bank store.
After her husband passed away, she moved to Jackson—and then, for the last 15 years, she lived at the Sutter Hill Place apartments, where she enjoyed making many friends and being involved in the community’s events and celebrations. The last years of her life she was privileged to enjoy the company of her best friend of 60 years, Doris Rich.
She was also preceded in death by her mother and father, her brother Frank Williams, and sisters Emma Aliberti, Elizabeth Gould and Eleanor Tibbetts. She is survived by her daughter, Janeen Silliman Goebel, and son Hal Silliman, grandson Jeremy Goebel (Jen) and two great-grandchildren, Jazmine and Jacob.