Vesta M. Roy

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Vesta Roy
Governor of New Hampshire
In office
December 29, 1982 – January 6, 1983
Preceded byHugh Gallen
Succeeded byJohn H. Sununu
Personal details
Born(1925-03-26)March 26, 1925
Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
DiedFebruary 9, 2002(2002-02-09) (aged 76)
Kenmore, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Albert Roy
EducationWayne State University (BA)

Vesta M. Roy (née Coward; March 26, 1925 – February 9, 2002) was a Republican New Hampshire politician. She was the first woman to serve as both the President of the New Hampshire Senate and Acting Governor of New Hampshire. She began her brief time as acting governor when the sitting governor fell ill and died prior to the end of his term.

Early life[edit]

Vesta M. Roy was born Detroit, Michigan on March 26, 1925. She graduated from Wayne State University.[1]


Roy served the Royal Canadian Airforce from 1943 to 1945 during World War II, and was named Leading Air Woman.[1][2] She then took a job with Prudential Insurance Company as a Special Agent. She also became the first woman to serve as Rockingham County Commissioner. Roy became a member of the New Hampshire House from 1972 to 1973 as a member of the Republican Party.[1] She was a delegate to the New Hampshire Constitutional Convention.[2] Roy served as a state senator from 1978 until 1986.

Roy became President of the New Hampshire Senate in December 1982, becoming the first woman in New Hampshire's history to hold that title.[2] When Governor Hugh Gallen became ill, Roy performed the duties of governor. Gallen died on December 29, 1982, leaving Roy to serve as Acting Governor of the state for seven days from 1982 to 1983.[2][3] Roy did not formally take the oath of office to become governor because doing so would have required her to give up her Senate seat.[2][4] The governor-elect, John H. Sununu, was sworn in on January 5, 1983.[1][5] Roy was named 1983 New Hampshire Woman of the Year.[1] She served as an adviser to the New Hampshire campaigns of Republican presidential candidates Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

Personal life and death[edit]

She was married to optometrist Albert Roy, with whom she had five children.[1] She had eight grandchildren.[2] She died on February 9, 2002, at her home in Kenmore,[6] New York, at the age of 76 and was buried at Saint Joseph's Cemetery in East Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Capace, Nancy (2000). Encyclopedia of New Hampshire. Somerset Publishers, Inc. pp. 147–48. ISBN 9780403096015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Raimo, John W. (1985). "Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States". Greenwood Press. pp. 205–06. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Brooks, Clayton McClure (2008). A Legacy of Leadership: Governors and American History. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 267. ISBN 0812208994.
  4. ^ Martin, Mart (1999). "The Almanac of Women and Minorities in American Politics". Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  5. ^ "Gainesville Sun – Google News Archive Search". Gainesville Sun. December 30, 1982. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  6. ^ The Associated Press (February 22, 2002). "Vesta Roy, 76, New Hampshire Ex-Governor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 31, 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hugh Gallen
Governor of New Hampshire

Succeeded by
John Sununu