Merle Hahn, 1989
Merle Hahn, 1989

Merle Hahn, 1990
Merle Hahn, 1990

Photo courtesy of Gail Graham
Photo courtesy of Gail Graham

Niobrara County Library - Merle Stanley Hahn (March 2, 1927 - October 28, 2010)

Merle Stanley Hahn (March 2, 1927 - October 28, 2010)

The Lusk Herald
November 4, 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.-

Related Obituaries:

John Thomas Anstice (January 8, 1884 - July 21, 1973)

Daisy Myrtle Benshoof (June 14, 1891 - July 31, 1969)

Inez Mae Benshoof (January 5, 1894 - July 9, 1989)

Leslie H. Benshoof (September 4, 1896 - March 26, 1966)

Lundy Frederick Benshoof (February 23, 1900 - January 28, 2002)

Mary Edith Benshoof (October 17, 1868 - February 17, 1949)

Perry Franklin Benshoof (December 28, 1865 - October 3, 1956)

Alvin Wesley Bower (September 15, 1927 - October 28, 1963)

Helen L. Bower (November 21, 1926 - March 11, 1976)

Arthur Eugene Browder (June 3, 1888 - December 6, 1970)

Ethel Maude Browder (April 2, 1892 - October 13, 1972)

Verne W. Browder (April 28, 1921 - December 22, 2006)

Alice C. Fowler (January 22, 1884 - July 27, 1972)

Thurman A. Godfrey (December 29, 1886 - July 6, 1970)

Reuben E. Hahn (November 17, 1898 - February 22, 1985)

Ruby Olive Hahn (October 27, 1901 - July 18, 1996)

Lois Mae Hutton (December 23, 1927 - September 2, 2014)

Edna Lucille Koontz (February 2, 1894 - October 30, 1963)

Harry Henderson Koontz (May 25, 1884 - June 12, 1959)

George Lipe (July 14, 1872 - February 7, 1949)

Maude Ella Lipe (May 13, 1874 - November 17, 1955)

Ellen Carol Wade (June 21, 1933 - November 29, 2003)

Everett McKinley Wade (June 13, 1932 - November 28, 2011)

Annie R. Willson (November 19, 1862 - July 19, 1959)

Edmund Brooks Willson (June 16, 1856 - October 21, 1926)

Eugene Parkhurst Willson (July 21, 1891 - October 12, 1985)

Eugene Bigelow Willson (October 18, 1852 - January 28, 1935)

Frederick Brooks Willson (December 13, 1898 - November 22, 1996)

George Luther Willson (November 1, 1848 - June 11, 1931)

Helen Willson (August 20, 1845 - June 29, 1927)

Isabel Willson (September 20, 1865 - September 19, 1955)

James Vaughn Willson (July 26, 1931 - March 16, 2001)

Kenneth Mack Willson (March 6, 1896 - July 3, 1980)

Lois Ann Willson (July 7, 1934 - January 3, 2007)

Marie Valentine Willson (February 14, 1900 - June 2, 1992)

Mary Frances Willson (July 1, 1905 - August 4, 2006)

Maxine Willson (December 4, 1902 - June 14, 1988)

Mary Jean Wilson (July 16, 1926 - December 21, 2011)

Related Birth Records:

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