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Gale Thomson, 90, widow of former N.H. governor

Gale Thomson was escorted by Mitt Romney during a presidential campaign event in Orford, N.H., in 2007. Gale Thomson was escorted by Mitt Romney during a presidential campaign event in Orford, N.H., in 2007. (Toby Talbot/ Associated Press)
By Norma Love
Associated Press / March 10, 2010

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CONCORD, N.H. - Gale Thomson, widow of New Hampshire’s former governor Meldrim Thomson, died Monday at her home in Orford, said her son Tom. She was 90.

Gale Kelly was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and met her future husband at a law publishing business where she worked as a secretary. The couple married in 1938 and had four sons and two daughters.

Tom Thomson said his parents decided not to raise their six children in New York and moved to New Hampshire in 1954.

Meldrim Thomson, a Republican, served as governor from 1973 to 1979. During his tenure, the Thomsons entertained small groups of lawmakers at Bridges House in Concord. Tom Thomson said his mother would often make them pancakes served with maple syrup from their farm in Orford.

Meldrim Thomson died in 2001.

Democratic Governor John Lynch called Gale Thomson “a warm and caring individual who will truly be missed.’’

John Sununu, a Republican and former New Hampshire governor, said she was a significant partner to her husband. “She was the classic example of the phrase ‘Behind every great man is an even greater woman,’ ’’ he said.

John Stephen, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Health and Human Services commissioner, recalled when Mrs. Thomson called him because her neighbor needed help staying in her home. Stephen said the state was able to help the neighbor get the services she needed to remain at home.

“Gale Thomson represented everything that was right and good about New Hampshire,’’ he said.

Former Congressman Charles Bass, a former congressman, called her breakfasts at Bridges House “unforgettable.’’

Tom Thomson said services are pending. The family expects to hold calling hours this week at the family home in Orford.