Maryanna Hatch, Our Inspiring Founder (1922-2022)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Rosemary Coffin and Maryanna Hatch

Today, we mourn a world-changer, a mother, a wife, an activist, and a friend. Maryanna Hatch, one of our two beloved founders, has passed today, September 23, 2022, at the age of 99. She will be deeply missed by her children, family, and her RiverWoods family of friends.

A petite, soft-spoken woman with a fluffy, signature cloud of white hair, Maryanna had an outsized impact on our world. Her gracious smile and tenacity toppled many obstacles, as she and Rosemary Coffin (1922-2011) gathered a small group of citizens to work on a brand-new idea for how to age, in community.

Their small working group spent 10 years toiling away at a concept, searching for partners and seed money. With no partners able to step up, they committed to building the community on their own.

RiverWoods opened The Woods campus in 1994, bringing the new concept of a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. Marianna and her husband John Hatch moved into their Pinkham Village apartment in 1995 bringing a light and joy to the community that combined dedication and humor.

With her passing, we have lost an icon.

Maryanna and Rosemary’s idea to create an involved community of engaged adults has expanded beyond their initial imagination, to multiple campuses across New Hampshire. Their focus was to change lives for the better, thinking not of themselves, but of the greater community. Their vision and commitment to a greater good inspires us every day.

She has changed our world forever, and her wisdom and spirit will not be forgotten.