Peggy Harding Nelson, a vibrant and respected political insider who served as Rodney Frelinghuysen’s district director and worked for several other prominent Morris County elected officials, died on October 25. She was 78.
Nelson began working in the district office of Assemblywoman Leanna Brown (R-Chatham) in 1980 and remained there when Brown moved up to the Senate in 1983 after defeating incumbent James Vreeland (R-Montville) in the Republican primary.
After Brown left the Senate to become a Commissioner of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1993, Brown took a job as a legislative aide to Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (R-Montville).
In 2001, when Gov. Donald DiFrancesco nominated Murphy to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Nelson became a policy advisor at the utilities regulatory agency.
Nelson later served as Frelinghuysen’s District Director, running the congressman’s Morristown office.
In 1982, Nelson was appointed to a seat on the Chatham Township Board of Education in 1982 following the resignation of Jack Hollrah. She won a full three-year term in 1983.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Glen, her daughter and son, and three grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Friday, November 8, at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison.