Dr. Gunter Ernst Hahn January 5, 1926 - November 21, 2016 Chapel Hill Dr. Gunter Ernst Hahn died on November 21st, of complications from kidney failure. He led an extraordinarily active life as a dedicated physician, advocate for health care, and founder and supporter of hospitals in Northern Virginia. Dr. Hahn began his education in Wuppertal, West Germany, where he was born on January 5, 1926. He survived
World War II
in Nazi Germany, and graduated shortly after the war from Marburg University Medical School. His story and thoughts re his years as a coal miner in a Russian prisoner of war camp are in his book "Growing up in the Third Reich". Dr. Hahn dedicated himself to medicine, always striving to improve both his own abilities and to develop new capabilities for the hospitals where he worked. He and his beloved wife Magdalene came to the United States in 1957 for a brief fellowship in cardiology at the University of Tennessee, but soon fell in love with the United States and proudly declared themselves US Citizens in the early 1960s. Dr. Hahn completed medical training at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk and worked in cardiology research at Virginia Commonwealth University. His heart lay in medical practice and he settled in Manassas Virginia as one of a few physicians in the then small town. His family and career grew with the town, as he devoted himself to health care in the region, working as one of the first physicians in Fairfax Hospital (he was proud that his daughter Karen was the first child born there) and helped to found the Prince William County Hospital, where he later served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Hospital. Dr. Hahn was especially instrumental in introducing cardiology to Prince William County Hospital. Even before cardiology was an acknowledged specialty he avidly pursued training, argued for and founded a cardiology department at Prince William, and later introduced the echocardiography division. Dr. Hahn was a devoted supporter of the ; he was president of the Northern Virginia Division, gave talks on heart health to the community and taught cardiology courses for nurses and other health care providers. In his private life, Dr. Hahn was an explorer, always trying and enjoying new pursuits. He enjoyed traveling and making movies, complete with music and soundtracks, some of which were used by medical exchange programs to support friendship between physicians in the US, India, and China. He enjoyed hiking, skiing, boating, scuba diving, and especially gardening at his home, where he produced an oasis for family and friends. Dr. Hahn was truly a generous and caring man, devoted to his patients and a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife Magdalene, who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, were inseparable and together provided love and support to their daughter Karen, son Klaus Michael, daughter and son in law Sandy and Mark, grandchildren Stephen, Erica, Monica and Jeremy, and many friends. A memorial service for Dr. Hahn will be held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 227 East Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC at 1 PM on Saturday, Nov. 26. Please donate to the in lieu of sending flowers.