Natalie V.G. Therry


Natalie Virginia Gudger Therry died on June 21 in Princeton, New Jersey. She was 87.

The eldest of five children, Natalie was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1924, and she grew up in Boston. After high school, she moved to New York City, where she worked for many years as a private secretary. There she met and married her husband of 50 years, Michael Therry, a concert singer and banker. They raised one child in Manhattan and relocated to Darien, Conn., in 1978.

In 1983 Natalie became an authorized Christian Science Practitioner, assisting individuals through healing prayer based upon the teachings of Christ Jesus. She continued that work for 20 years.

Natalie is a descendant of the Osborn family of Edgartown. Her roots include three Mayflower ancestors, and she is 11 generations in descent from Thomas Mayhew Sr., who founded the first colonial settlement on Martha’s Vineyard and was governor of the islands off Cape Cod. Her second great-grandfather was Timothy Coffin, who built the family home at 30 South Water Street, Edgartown, in 1828. The house was sold to the Charlotte Inn in the 1960s and has since been privately owned.

Natalie’s great-grandfather, Samuel Osborn Jr., was once the largest individual owner of whaleships in the country. Her grandfather, Walter Strong Osborn, continued the family whaling and shipping business from Osborn’s wharf (where the Edgartown Yacht Club now stands).

Natalie attended grammar school in Edgartown during the Depression. In her late teens, she served as secretary to Miss Emily Post, who summered in Edgartown, succeeding her aunt, Elizabeth Osborn Ward, who had been Miss Post’s secretary before her.

Natalie’s mother, Natalie Osborn Gudger Darley, was the fifth of Walter Strong Osborn’s 11 children born and raised in Edgartown. Natalie’s uncle, John Osborn, founded the Dukes County Savings Bank, the first of its kind on Martha’s Vineyard. Among Natalie’s cousins who are residents of Martha’s Vineyard are Ovid Osborn Ward, the noted artist and sculptor of the Whale Tale, former town supervisor Peter Osborn Bettencourt, Joann Bettencourt Broccoli, Carolyn Tilton Medgyesy, Lorraine Maury Kornek, and Phillip Reynolds. The Osborn clan held three ten-year reunions in Edgartown in 1978, 1988, and 1998.

Natalie was predeceased by her beloved husband, Michael, in 1998.

She is survived by her only child, Meghan Therry, and her husband, Scott B. Griswold, of Webster, N.Y.; two granddaughters, Heather Osborn Blaikie, Athens, Ga., and Amanda Grace Sparfeld (Tobin), Los Angeles, Calif.; her sister Barbara Joan Gudger White of Kaysville, Utah, and her brother Robert Osborn Gudger of Santa Monica, Calif.

Interment of Natalie’s ashes will be at 4 pm on Friday, September 23, at the West Side Cemetery in Edgartown.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tenacre, P.O. Box 632, Princeton NJ 08543, or to Genesee Valley Audubon Society, P.O. Box 15512, Rochester NY 14615.