‘Happy’ Rockefeller, Widow Of Former Vice President, Dies

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -

Margaretta “Happy” Rockefeller, the widow of former Vice President and New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, died in her sleep Tuesday night. She was 88.

Happy Rockefeller, who earned her nickname as a child because of her pleasant personality, married the governor in 1963. After serving four terms as governor, Nelson was named in 1974 by President Gerald Ford to serve as vice president after Ford replaced Richard Nixon upon his resignation.

The two are to date the only president and vice president to serve without ever getting elected.

Born Margaretta Large Fitler on June 9, 1926, she often spoke of being a proud descendant of Gen. George Gordon Meade, who commanded Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg.

A well-known socialite for many causes, she was appointed in 1991 as a public delegate to the United Nations by President George H. W. Bush.

“People at the U.N. knew her and wanted her advice and she was prepared to educate herself on many subjects,” said former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering. “A lot of my fellow senior diplomats considered it a real honor to meet her.”