Martin Gross (1938 – 2016)
Director and Chairman, Board of Directors, 1988-1996
Few people have had a greater impact on the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation than Martin Gross. He served on and chaired the Foundation’s Board of Directors from 1988 to 1996 with distinction, and led the effort to acquire and renovate our lovely offices at 37 Pleasant Street in Concord. His passing this week brought an outpouring of memories and tributes. In the weeks to come, those will be accompanied by stories, because everyone has one.
In my time at the Foundation, my first lunch with Marty was in 2010 and my last was this past fall, before he and Deirdre headed south for the winter. They were strikingly similar: I arrived with a few things I wanted to talk about; I left with a few things he wanted me to do. That was Marty. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of New Hampshire, of the law, of history, geography, politics, government. You could talk with him about anything, and you would always learn something new. Marty saw knowledge as a path to action, which is why he managed to get so much done himself and could inspire others to do so much. We will miss him tremendously and extend our love and support to his wife Deirdre and their family.
A regular topic for Marty and me was the Foundation’s Caroline Gross Fellowship Award which he established in memory of his first wife, the late great Majority Leader of the NH House of Representatives. On news of his passing, a flurry of tributes from recipients of the fellowship flooded my inbox. Here are just a few:
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Marty Gross. My first entry into politics was in 1970 when Marty and Caroline were involved with our late Governor Walter Peterson. The family did great public service and will be remembered for all they gave to our state.”
– NH State Senator Lou D’Allesandro
“New Hampshire has lost an extraordinary public servant. The NH Bar, one of its giants. And all of us, a mentor.”
– Orville “Bud” Fitch, legal counsel for U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte
“We have all lost a champion of the good who set an example of what friendship and loyalty are all about. He has left a permanent legacy and a trail of leadership and passion for good that we should all emulate and be proud of. We will keep him in our prayers and our hearts as we work together to perpetuate his memory and that of Caroline.”
– Syl Dupuis, former Mayor of Manchester
President and CEO
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation