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St. Margaret’s Beloved Founder Father Sillers Passes Away at 99

Posted By admin On October 15, 2009 @ 6:13 pm In Features | Comments Disabled

sillers_web [1]It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved founder and patriarch of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and School, The Reverend Canon Ernest D. Sillers, has passed away. Surrounded by friends and loved ones, Father Sillers died Thursday afternoon at Saddleback Hospital at the age of 99.

An Episcopal priest with a deep passion for education, Father Sillers was certain in his vision: to establish a college preparatory school rooted in a framework that nurtures a student’s mind, body, spirit and social and moral development. He believed that “every student is a sacred and precious child of God” and that “a solid foundation assists a child to find strength when tested.”

With the blessing of the Episcopal Dioceses of Los Angeles, Father Sillers gathered with interested families from the Capistrano Valley on March 9, 1979 to discuss the possibility of opening a school. Less than six months later, on October 1, 1979, Father Sillers and his wife, Aldine, the school’s founding librarian, welcomed 79 students in grades K-6 to St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Shortly thereafter in 1981, The Early Childhood Development Center opened and by June 1986, when Father Sillers addressed the first graduating class, students were enrolled in preschool through grade twelve. In 1987, Father Sillers left St. Margaret’s and carried forward his passion for education by founding St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita and St. Mary’s and All Angels School in Aliso Viejo.

Today, Father Sillers’ vision is deeply imbedded in the life of St. Margaret’s. His lasting legacy is best exemplified in our mission, to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service, and in our 1200 students and 1300 alumni who, when tested, find strength from their St. Margaret’s foundation, just as Father Sillers intended thirty years ago.

This is a profoundly significant moment in the history of our school . We have lost a great person and a great friend but his legacy will be forever celebrated here and in the lives of the many, many people he touched. And most importantly, we will ensure that his great work continues.


Marcus D. Hurlbut


Please share your memory or comment about the life of The Reverend Canon Ernest D. Sillers Below.

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