Margaret S. Roberts, 63, a former writer of Navy Department textbooks and training manuals, died of cancer Wednesday at Southampton Hospital in New York. She had lived in Southampton since 1974.

Mrs. Roberts worked for the Navy Training Publications Center, located at the Washington Navy Yard, from 1951 to 1969. She produced more than a dozen books, mostly in the field of shipboard engineering.

Her work on the "Principles of Naval Engineering," used by universities with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program, brought her the Navy Department's Superior Accomplishment Award.

She also received an award for her "Navy Standard First Aid Training Course," which was made available to the public through the Government Printing Office.

Mrs. Roberts was born in Moscow, Idaho. She came to this area as an infant and grew up in Chevy Chase. She was a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and received a degree in Psychology from George Washington University. She also studied at Radcliff College, the University of Michigan and Duke University.

She worked briefly as a psychologist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics before joining the Navy Department.

Mrs. Roberts was a member of the National Writers Club.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. R. Ray Roberts of Southampton; two daughters, Rosana L. Hart of Forestville, Calif., and Marcia C. Linebarger of Cambridge, Mass., and two brothers, Chester W. Snow of Los Angeles, and Robert M. Snow of Boston.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Epilepsy Foundation, to the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society.