Obituary Details

Merle Stanley Hahn

(03/02/1927 - 10/28/2010)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 11/04/2010

Merle Stanley Hahn

Services for Merle Hahn were held Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, at the Congregational Church in Lusk, with Pastor Mark Lohr officiating. Mr. Hahn passed away in Casper Thursday, Oct. 28. Burial with military honors was in the Lusk Cemetery.

Merle Stanley Hahn was born March 2, 1927 in Torrington, Wyo. to Reuben and Ruby Benshoof Hahn, and was the eldest of four children. He lived with his family on their ranch located about five miles east of Jay Em in northern Goshen County. He began school in a one-room country school, until the small schools consolidated into Prairie Center School where he continued his education from the fifth grade through the 10th when he transferred to Torrington High School, graduating with the Class of '45. Immediately following graduation he served in the Army and after basic training, he served in the Caribbean Defense Zone at the end of WW II.

His marriage to Phyllis Willson on Sept. 3, 1949 began a journey of many experiences and blessings. Residences included Jay Em, Wyoming; Denver, Colo. and Scottsbluff, Neb. the first year. They moved to Torrington in 1955, where Merle began working in a Gamble Store. The family moved to Lusk in 1960, when Merle began managing the Lusk Gamble Store.

The couple built up the business over the next 35 years before semi-retirement. Merle enjoyed feeling a sense of usefulness and responsibility to the community in many ways. He repaired large and small appliances until just a few months before poor health forced him to quit. The couple never missed a Gamble merchandise market for the value of maintaining their business in addition to seeing new cities and enjoying sightseeing as they seldom took vacations otherwise. The company began to recognize the need for dealers to take time off and made special trips possible. The Hahns first went on a Caribbean cruise and in following years flew to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico, and France.

Other community commitments included membership in the Chamber of Commerce, served on the Lusk Town Council in the '70's and an interim term as Mayor of Lusk. He served on several Boards including the Soil Conservation District and Land Use Planning Commission. He was instrumental in bringing natural gas into Lusk for competitive heating prices. He was on the Niobrara Senior Center District Board, the Niobrara Economic Development board and the Niobrara Hospital Foundation Board until resigning shortly before his death.

Merle was a faithful member of the Lusk Congregational Church and had served as Deacon, Trustee and sang in the choir for many years. Merle was a Mason, with membership in Harmony Lodge #24 , and also a Shriner in support of their Hospitals for children.

He liked to deliver Meals on Wheels and took part in the activities and fellowship while eating regularly at the Niobrara Senior Center every week.

Merle was Adjutant of the American Legion Post #1 of Van Tassell for nearly 50 years, and was Secretary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3511 of Lusk for several years. He attended meetings faithfully and especially promoted the Boys State program, sponsored by the Legion.

Merle took part in the Rawhide Pageant for several years and especially enjoyed developing the part of the wagon train drunk, which always got a laugh from the audience. He had participated in Melodramas and a couple of plays sponsored by the art council.

He was a member of the Niobrara Gun Club and enjoyed trap shooting as well as hunting large and small game for many years. He participated in the Niobrara Country Club and enjoyed golfing for many years.

Hobbies included collecting coins, guns and license plates. His guns were sold to help finance a trip to Paris in 1977. The plates were sold in 2003, which paid for his last car. He liked to develop coin collections of various types and swapped coins as well as license plates, making new friends along the way.

Recent memories included going on the Honor Flight for WW II veterans in September 2009, attending his 65th Class Reunion in Torrington in June of 2010, and a trip to Washington in July to visit his daughter and son-in-law with his two sons and their wives also present.

Merle Hahn is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of 61 years, his sons, Donald and wife, Suzanne Hahn of Loveland, Colo., Stan and his wife Paulette Parente-Hahn of Casper and daughter, Judy and her husband, John Chapman of Yelm, Washington, brother Wayne and his wife Mary Hahn of Torrington, sister Bernita and husband Leo Fowler of Billings, Mont., sister Arlene and husband Alan Arnold of Eldorado Springs, Missouri, grandchildren Nathan and Juliana Hahn and Anna Hahn of Loveland, Colo., Miranda and Erick Berdahl and their children Rhys and Adalyn of Casper, Tasha Moreno of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jason and Amy Hahn and infant daughter Laina of Gillette, Matt Hahn of Casper, Angela, Amanda and Holly Dunlap of Casper, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, family suggested memorials to the Congregational Church of Lusk, PO Box 1106, Lusk, WY 82225, or to the Niobrara Senior Center, PO Box 928, Lusk, WY 82225.-

Images & Attachments

Merle Hahn, 1989
Merle Hahn, 1990
Photo courtesy of Gail Graham

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