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Obituary for Margaret "Peg" Hannigan (Doherty)

Margaret "Peg"  Hannigan (Doherty)
Margaret “Peg” Doherty Hannigan died on May 5, 2018 at the age of 98. Margaret lived a long, lively and productive life.

Peg loved politics, her faith, all things Irish and above all her family and friends.

She was predeceased by her husband Joseph Hannigan, her brothers Francis and John Doherty, and her daughter, Nancy Martin. Peg leaves behind her daughter Kathleen Millstein and her husband Philip Millstein, her son Denis Hannigan and Nancy’s husband Kenneth Martin. Peg was blessed with five grandchildren and their partners: Matthew Millstein and his wife Beth, Elizabeth Millstein and her husband, David Dick, Jeffrey Martin, Laura Morabito and her husband Nick Morabito, and Sean Hannigan in addition to seven great grandchildren: Tira, Ethan and Zeke Martin, Samuel and Benjamin Dick, Estelle Millstein and Amelia Nancy Morabito. She is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins, both here and in Ireland.

Peg participated in political campaigns starting in 1947 with JFK and including the campaigns of many others such as Father Drinan, Barney Frank, little “Mikey” Dukakis, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Setti Warren and most recently Bernie Sanders for whom she served as Newton’s honorary co-chair.

Described in a 1974 article as “the Godmother of Newton politics”, the title stuck: Peg was “the Godmother” from then on. Everyone knew the Godmother and consulted with her on all issues Democrat. She chaired the Ward 2 Committee as well as the Newton Democratic City Committee for many years.

In 2010 Barney Frank wrote a tribute to Peg that he read into the United Stated Congressional Record.

"For cynics who believe that there is some conflict between political idealism and political practicality, Peg Hannigan was a living, breathing refutation. No one I have met in my own years of elected office has been more dedicated to the values of fairness that represent America at our best, and no one has been more effective to those of us seeking elected office to promote this."

With her sharp wit Peg was a force with which to be reckoned. She described herself as “a tough Irish broad,” always with a wink and a nod. Peg was like the Irish Tinker who supposedly said, “Look upon me for, when I am gone, there will be no more like me.” Peg was unique, and her passing represents the end of an era.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Peg's memory to the Scandinavian Living Center, 206 Waltham St., Newton, MA 02465.

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