Ex-N.H. First Lady Catherine Gregg Dies at 96

Exeter, n.h. — Catherine Gregg, the wife of one New Hampshire governor and the mother of another, has died. She was 96.

Gregg, who died Friday at her home in Exeter, 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.

Along with her husband, she was passionate about preserving New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and was heavily involved in protecting the state’s environment and cultural heritage. A noted philanthropist, she served on many boards and was instrumental in saving the Wentworth-Coolidge mansion in Portsmouth, the former home of New Hampshire’s first royal governor. According to her family, she loved books, gardening and animals, and for many years raised Newfoundlands at her home in Nashua.

“Catherine Gregg was a great a friend, a wonderful first lady and a tireless champion of traditional New Hampshire values,” said former Gov. John H. Sununu.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte called Gregg “an exception 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,” Ayotte said.

Hugh Gregg, a Republican who served as governor from 1953 to 1955, died in 2003.

Catherine Gregg is survived by two sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Services will be private.