Charles H. Hahn, 74, who saw many years of effort pay off last December when he belatedly received his World War II Army service medals, died Tuesday (Sept. 30, 1997) in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a short illness.
With the help of Rep. Bill Paxon, R-Amherst, and a Florida congressman, Hahn got his Bronze Star for heroism, Combat Infantryman Badge, plus other citations, 51 years after his discharge.
Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Lafayette High School and was the youngest of five brothers who went to military service in the war.
Sent to the Philippines with the 31st Infantry Division as the Allies began their final push toward Japan in 1945, he earned his heroism medal by plunging into the swift Mindanao River to save a fellow G.I. from drowning. He brought the soldier to shore and revived him.
After the war, he became an auto parts sales representative and characterized himself as "Charley Hahn, the workingman's friend."
He worked for 40 years with Molin-Taylor and Lakeland Auto Supply.
Hahn recently moved to Lockport after living for nine years in Silver Springs, Fla. He also lived in the Town of Tonawanda for 32 years.
He was a member of M.J. Brounshidle Post 205, American Legion. He was an avid fan of the New York Yankees and the University of Notre Dame football team. He was a devoted fisherman.
He and his wife, the former Patricia J. Rees, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 2.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, David of Lloyd Harbor, L.I., Kevin of the Town of Tonawanda and Charles II of East Amherst; three daughters, Diane Quinlan of Rochester, Pat Normandale of Jupiter, Fla., and Mary Elizabeth of Buffalo; a brother, Robert of Kenmore; a sister, Patricia J. Baritot of Clarence Center; and 14 grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Amelia Catholic Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.