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Monday, August 4, 2014

Catherine Gregg, ex-New Hampshire first lady and former Nashua resident, dies

NASHUA – Catherine Gregg, the wife of one New Hampshire governor and the mother of another, has died. She was 96.

Gregg, a former longtime Nashua resident, died Friday at her home in Exeter. She was the widow of former Gov. Hugh Gregg and the mother of former Gov. Judd Gregg, who also served as a congressman and U.S. senator. ...

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NASHUA – Catherine Gregg, the wife of one New Hampshire governor and the mother of another, has died. She was 96.

Gregg, a former longtime Nashua resident, died Friday at her home in Exeter. She was the widow of former Gov. Hugh Gregg and the mother of former Gov. Judd Gregg, who also served as a congressman and U.S. senator.

A noted philanthropist, she loved books, gardening and animals, and for many years raised Newfoundlands at her home in Nashua. She owned and operated the Parish Bookshelf, a children’s bookstore in Hollis for many years, according to her obituary.

Catherine Gregg was heavily involved in protecting the state’s environment and cultural heritage, and served as a trustee of the New Hampshire Audubon Society, the Humane Society of Southern Hillsborough County, the Beaver Brook Association of Hollis and the Dunstable Land Trust. She also was a director of the Merrimack River Watershed Council.

Her husband, Hugh Gregg, a Republican who served as governor from 1953 to 1955, died in 2003. The pair were passionate about preserving New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Catherine Gregg is survived by two sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In a statement released Saturday, former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu called Gregg a tireless champion of traditional New Hampshire values.

Former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu said the Gregg family has made a “tremendous contribution” to the state. “Mrs. Gregg was a friend, but more importantly she was an exceptional person who has left a strong and enduring legacy,” he said.

Sitting U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte called Gregg an exceptional and strong woman of the highest character.

“The wife of a legendary governor and the mother of a true New Hampshire statesman, Mrs. Gregg was the matriarch of her family and she will always have a special place in our state’s history,” she said.

Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Gregg’s memory are asked to donate to the Wentworth-Coolidge Commission, Inc, 799 South Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

The Associated Press and Telegraph staff writer Jim Haddadin contributed to this report. Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).