PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mary Lindsay, the wife and trusted adviser of former New York mayor John V. Lindsay, has died of cancer, her daughter said. She was 77.
Mrs. Lindsay's daughter, Margaret Picotte of Palm Beach, said her mother died Tuesday. A memorial service is scheduled for the first week of June in New York, Picotte said.
Mrs. Lindsay, who was described as bringing elegance, energy, and political acumen to her husband's campaigns, lived in Hilton Head, S.C.
John V. Lindsay was mayor of New York from 1966 to 1973. He died on Dec. 19, 2000, at age 79.
While in New York, she redecorated Gracie Mansion in the manner in which Jacqueline Kennedy had made over the White House. But Mrs. Lindsay thought designer gowns were a waste of money and bought clothes off the shelf in department stores -- explaining that locally made clothes were critical to the city's economy.
"She was really loved by everyone in New York," Picotte said. "She was a really down-to-earth and warm person."
Mrs. Lindsay held countless coffee hours during her husband's campaigns and was a devoted mother to their four children while protecting her husband's time and peace of mind.
"When he needs something done, I may scream around the house," she told The New York Times in 1969. "But when he gets home, it's all peaches and cream."
She vigorously campaigned for Lindsay as he won three terms as a congressman from 1959 to 1965. She described their days at Gracie Mansion as "beginning with chaos, ending with chaos, and with a slight climactic middle."
Robert Price, who helped direct John Lindsay's four congressional races and first mayoral campaign, called Mrs. Lindsay "a political force more powerful than patronage."
She met her husband in her last year at Vassar when they were members of the wedding party of Alexander Ellis and Nancy Walker Bush, sister of former President George Bush.
John Lindsay asked her to marry him in 1948 in the kitchen of her parents' home. Before she was married, she taught at the Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, and at the Buckley School in New York.
Mary Anne Harrison was born Oct. 30, 1926, in Richmond, Va., and grew up in Greenwich, Conn. She graduated with a psychology degree from Vassar in 1947. She leaves three daughters, Katharine Lake of Connecticut, Margaret Picotte of Florida, and Anne Lindsay of Massachusetts; her son, John Jr. of Connecticut; and five grandchildren.