From her days as a professional roller skater to bring in a little extra money, to her 70-year marriage to John Hessler and the times spent with her children – and now great-great-grandchildren – Marguerite Hessler has found much to enjoy in life.
On March 28 Marguerite Hessler celebrated her 100th birthday and credits her longevity to the balance of a lot of fun and hard work, and jokingly added, “from drinking a lot of beer!”
“Yes, that’s the grandma we know. Always with a sense of humor!” said her granddaughter, Tammy Maver.
Marguerite Hessler was born March 28, 1921, the daughter of Roy and Dora Dixon, and grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. Her grandfather on her dad’s side was mostly English and her grandmother was a Blackfoot Indian from Montana.
In her younger years she loved to skate and dance and when she became a teen she performed as a professional roller skater with her dad to bring in extra family income. Her roller-skating days even allowed her to have paid experiences with roller derby performances.
Marguerite participated in a dance contest by roller skating the dance, winning first prize – a tap dance class. She ended up doing commercials for the tap dance studios by tap dancing on the radio.
Marguerite met her husband, John, when she was 14-years-old and married at 16.
They young couple built their house from the ground up, one of the first houses built in what has been known as the Bunny Run neighborhood of Lake Orion.
Marguerite and John had four kids and now have 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren and one more on the way.
As a young mom, Marguerite helped support her family through a number of jobs: waitressing at two country clubs, the Pakoda restaurant in Rochester, the Scripps Mansion in Lake Orion, and even waitressed for a couple of George Romney’s – Michigan Governor House.
During World War II, she joined the war effort, working at a foundry that made parts for engines.
She was married to her husband John Hessler for 70 years. Theirs was a life of hunting, fishing and also included being lifetime members of the Moose Lodge.
They spent much of their retirement years up north in West Branch and Moran, Michigan, where Marguerite found time to enjoy crocheting and their love for the outdoors and camping allowed them to create many memories camping all over Michigan and many surrounding areas in the United States.
“She has lived a full and happy life. Despite her ailing health, she chooses positivity and gratitude. She talks to all four of her kids on a daily basis and couldn’t be more humble. I have always been amazed by her beautiful, feisty, sweet and most humble spirit. She never needed much and has always been grateful and thankful for the simplest of gestures. She always enjoys the company of others with a smile, and let’s not forget the laughs to share,” Maver said.
Marguerite says she has had many good times but now finds great peace and solace in the stillness of life saying the rosary at least once a day.
Her advice to all those younger than her would simply be: “Enjoy life! Have a lot of fun. Work hard and have a lot of faith in God.”