jeffDr. Jeffrey W. Hahn, born in Edison, NJ, died on February 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. of complications from a congenital heart defect and acute hypoxemia.

Born to Arthur Robert and Dorothy Duerke Hahn Jeff grew up in suburban Boston, primarily in Newton with his middle brother Peter and oldest brother Robert, and later (briefly) in Marblehead, MA, with his stepmother, Julie. He attended Newton High School where his acting once earned a regional award for best supporting performance as a butler. (“There are no small roles, only small actors.”)  Neither was he small himself, rowing crew a season for Penn and though “small” might better have suited his crew shell the hours did not. His attentions trained over to political science, earning a Defense Department scholarship to study then Cold-War nemesis the Soviet Union.

An amateur stamp collector and devotee of Kenneth Graham’s Seafaring Rat, the perambulating minor character in The Wind and the Willows, it was in his blood not merely to wonder what was behind the Iron Curtain, but travel there an pull it aside for himself. He continued his pre-journey preparation at Duke University where, on a tip from a fellow grad student, he spied my future mother and asked her on a “blind” date (who’s perfidy my Mother never forgave). After University, they headed to New York City where, as a Filipino, my mother worked at the UN permitting Dad all manner of cultural adventure. He shortly landed a spot in suburban Philadelphia at Villanova University, where he would teach for over 30 years alongside his “high-contact-hour” public school-teaching wife.

During the summers he taught a ‘Mini-mester’ concentrated undergraduate study on US Government, visiting Congressman, Senators, Agency and Department senior leaders and lobbyists in an effort to “show students how the sausage is made”, accompanied occasionally by his wife and son – especially for the mini-mester-ending softball game pitting “Democrats against Republicans” and serving cooked sausages (hot dogs). Joint teaching careers also permitted Jeff to return to his favorite childhood summers in Casco Bay, Maine, just north of the city of Portland. There he and his wife built their retirement home, made friends, kept merry, and took great pleasure in “simply messing about in boats” with no less delight on top of the water as in the bounty below the. The road to their home was littered with the carcasses of savored shellfish sacrificed “to The Great Mollusk in the Sky,” to whom we now commend my father in good company.

He parts our earthly dinner company to join his wife who, 5½ months earlier, died two floors below him in the same hospital. Jeff was joined two weeks after by Charlie, our beagle to whom he begrudged much unguarded food, yet who also warmed his lap on the lounger. Jeff will be greatly missed by his favorite daughter-in-law, Anne, his highly entertained granddaughter Olivia Watters, 6, to whom he owes one more game of Fish, his grandson Matthew Jeffrey, 3, who never heard a fart from Dad’s phone app that didn’t elicit squeals of laughter, and his five beloved nieces by his oldest brother, Uncle Robert, “Gob” Hahn who are all scattered throughout the country but always close to his heart. He leaves many friends and colleagues from Chebeague, ME, Radnor, PA, Washington, D.C., and cities between here and Moscow to continue to dine, and to drink, and to discourse he much loved. He is always remembered most warmly by his son, and luckiest companion in that world, Peter.

A virtual memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 10th (invitations will go out directly via friends & family) to be followed by a smaller in-person gathering to inter his ashes in Maine later this year as pandemic considerations permit.

A donation in lieu of flowers or cards may be made to CityTeam Chester, PA (formerly Philadelphia, PA), or any local charitable food/social organization of your choice. When I was a kid Dad would match my allowance gifts around Thanksgiving/Christmas time, and the reflective lesson it taught lasted ever after.