Magdalene Irmgard Hahn

Magdalene Hahn died on February 5, of strokes due to amyloid angiopathy. She led an extraordinary life, filled with caring and joy, and was an inspiration to family and friends.

Mrs. Hahn was born on January 8, 1931 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, West Germany, to the late Hermann and Helene Hesse. She told of a happy childhood, but had to become a refugee in 1943 after surviving the carpet bombing of Wuppertal. After reconstruction she attended the Lyceum Schwelm Westphalen, Gymnasium Wuppertal, and Wuppertal Handels College, earning degrees as a laboratory medical technician and in medical business administration. She then worked at the Glanzstoff company, a large textile firm in Wuppertal, where she was selected as a company ‘ambassador’ and trained in translation to host international visitors.  During these years she met her husband, Gunter Hahn, a young medical student, and went to the US with him to continue his training. She got her wish to live near the mountains in Knoxville, where the couple fell in love with the US. Dr. Hahn was recruited to open a medical practice in the then small town of Manassas, Virginia. Together, Mrs. Hahn and he became US citizens and helped build the community, active in charity work and raising funds to found a community hospital. Mrs. Hahn was the office manager for Dr. Hahn’s practice and ran a clinical laboratory performing tests for his patients. After 45 years in Manassas, they retired to Chapel Hill.


Mrs. Hahn was devoted to her family and friends. She loved reading, music, studying world cultures, travel, sports (especially swimming, skiing, and scuba diving), animals (especially birds), and was an avid gardener.  Mrs. Hahn was a very caring person, full of joy and love of life. Her presence and example will be greatly missed.


She is survived by her daughter Karen, son Klaus Michael, daughter and son in law Sandy and Mark, and her grandchildren Jeremy, Monica, Erica and Stephen.


A memorial service for Mrs. Hahn was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 227 East Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC at 3 PM on Saturday, March 10. Burial followed in CHapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.  Please donate to the American Heart/American Stroke Association or the World Wildlife Fund in lieu of sending flowers.