All Sections
action:article | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE09 | adString:NEWHAMPSHIRE09 | zoneID:2
Welcome guest, you have 2 views left. | Register | Sign In



MAY GRUBER, second from left. 

May Gruber remembered for more than Pandora Sweaters


MANCHESTER - May Gruber, who took over and ran Pandora Industries during an era when few women were corporate leaders, died Monday, two days short of her 101st birthday.

In addition to running the multimillion dollar Pandora for nearly 20 years, Gruber was known throughout the Manchester community for philanthropic efforts and support of the arts.

"She liked being involved," son Ralph Sidore said. "She liked doing things and she liked doing big things."

Gruber and her second husband, Sam Gruber, founded the Manchester Community Music School and donated pieces to the Currier Museum, which featured some of their collection in an exhibit.

Sidore said his mother was always active, jogging well into her 90s before arthritis slowed her down and limited her to walking. Gruber told the New Hampshire Union Leader just before her 100th birthday last March that she still tried to get a walk in every day.

Sidore said Gruber's health had been declining in the weeks before her death Monday at her home in Goffstown, but she remained mentally sharp to the end.

Gruber received the Boston Post Cane last spring, one of many honors conferred on her during her lifetime. She was also a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award in 2005 and was presented an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame College.

"She was long before her time in terms of an executive. philanthropist and activist," said state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a family friend. "For her time, she was one of few women who ran a big business."

Born May Blum in 1912 in New York City, she graduated from New York University at the age of 19. She married Sol Sidore. After returning from their honeymoon, the couple joined her parents in a new business, making and selling sweaters in the early years of the Great Depression. The family venture persevered despite the economy, then moved the business to New Hampshire in 1940.

Widowed in 1963, Gruber ended up becoming the company's third president in 1964. She wrote about it in "Pandora's Pride," one of two books she authored. She had to buy out the shares owned by her father and brother, raising the money in less than 90 days. She ran the company until she sold it in 1983.

"In many respects for me, it was just Mom doing what Mom does," Ralph Sidore said. "I understand from a historical perspective. She was not necessarily one of the first, but one of the early women running a business."

Gruber was a mother of five and had two stepchildren. She is survived by 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

dalden@unionleader.com


Comments


To improve the chance of seeing your comment posted here or published in the New Hampshire Union Leader:

  • Identify yourself. Accounts using fake or incomplete names are suspended regardless of the quality of posts.
  • Say something new, stay on topic, keep it short.
  • Links to outside URLs are discouraged, if used they should be on topic.
  • Avoid comments in bad taste, write well, avoid using all capital letters
  • Don't cite facts about individuals or businesses without providing a means to verify the claim
  • If you see an objectionable comment please click the "Report Abuse" button and be sure to tell us why.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

Be the first to comment.

Post a comment


You must sign in before you can post comments. If you are experiencing issues with your account please e-mail abuse@unionleader.com.


action:article | category:NEWHAMPSHIRE09 | adString:NEWHAMPSHIRE09 | zoneID:59
     

FOLLOW US
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required