×

Maureen Leyden Dietrich


Sunday, September 22, 2019

NEW LONDON, NH — Once, there were three kids who grew up in Rhinebeck, New York with an extraordinary mom. She had an infectious sense of adventure, and taught them the joy of a great book, a thick chocolate milkshake, and sometimes having breakfast for dinner. She had a seemingly endless reserve of energy, which came in handy when she drove them all over the tri-state area for Irish step dancing, after her own epic weekday commutes.

Fueled by many cups of tea and her passion for nursing, she got her master’s degree at night in addition to her (sometimes more than one) full-time job during the day; this fact, combined with the memory of their mom wallpapering the kitchen overnight in the thick of holiday season, led the kids to believe that her work ethic could rival Beyonce’s or Martha Stewart’s.

When the kids grew into adults and had careers of their own, they always felt very proud thinking of their mom’s work. From her start as a NICU nurse to her most recent position as a Quality Coach at New London Hospital in New Hampshire, her entire career was devoted to advocating for those in need of care. As the most nurturing person they knew, she was perfectly suited to it.

Her name was Maureen Leyden Dietrich, and her family loved her more than words could ever hope to capture.

She was the daughter of James and Cecelia Leyden, and grew up close to her birthplace of Amityville, in nearby Bellmore, New York. She graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, SUNY Cortland, and Pace University. She started her family in Connecticut, and after her children were raised, she lived in Baltimore, Maryland before moving to a place that she was delighted to call home: New London, New Hampshire.

On September 11th, she passed away at the age of 67. She was the very definition of a “tough cookie,” and her remarkably brave, resilient battle with breast cancer is the stuff of legend, but she should be remembered instead for her love of ice cream, the beach, sailboats, Paul Simon’s music, great Christmas decorations, and a tree that rarely came down before mid-January.

The foundation of Maureen’s story is her incredible commitment to her family. Her husband William Dietrich of New London NH, her sister Kathleen Leyden of Hallowell ME, and her three children Caitlin Stacy (Jared) of Los Angeles CA, Deirdre McGinty (Jason Lazarchek) of Studio City CA, and John Patrick McGinty (Catherine) of Philadelphia PA, will miss her immeasurably.

Known as “Mamo” to her three grandchildren Sasha Stacy (5), Shane Stacy (3), and Cecilia McGinty (1), she always said her favorite thing was the sound of their voices. She was happiest going on trips with them, or to see them, and wringing every drop of fun out of whatever they experienced together.

Her spirited personality, her colorful way of looking at the world, and her talent for a well-timed zinger ensure there are hundreds of great stories about her. Maureen’s family aims to tell them all at a private celebration of life in the spring, and looks forward to everyone sharing their memories and love of her then. Those who would like to be informed of details should email mamomemorial@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, Maureen requested that donations be made in her honor to The Hand to Heart Project, a nonprofit massage program for cancer patients that provided a huge amount of comfort to her. https://handtoheartproject.org/make-a-donation/

You can also reach The Hand to Heart Project at (603) 542-8367 or contact@handtoheartproject.org.