Official Obituary of

Michael Darwin Hahn

August 26, 1950 ~ November 10, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old

Michael Hahn Obituary

With a heavy heart I inform you that Michael Darwin Hahn, 73. passed away on November 10th, 2023 after a long battle with cancer. He passed peacefully at home with family lovingly by his side. Michael was born on August 26th, 1950 to Marilyn Ann Hahn and Wilford Leroy Hahn in Portland, Oregon. His recent passions were cruising around in the yellow corvette, learning as much as he could, and spending time with family. I will let gramps tell you about his life, the following is a biography he wrote and is proud of. 

Hi, I hope your life has been as interesting for you as mine has been for me. Throughout my school years I had planned to become a theoretical physicist designing experiments for particle accelerators (atom smashers). As a college student I never had much money, so I began working in restaurants to earn school money. My beater car was a clunker that broke down often, so whenever someone at work called in sick, I skipped school to work extra hours. I was a hard worker and frequently received promotions. Somehow, instead of becoming a nuclear physicist, I became a chef, journeyman baker, banquet chef, restaurant manager, project manager, etc. Many of you probably remember me as being very quiet and maybe even thought of me as being stuck up, but I was just very shy. Growing up, my father believed in the laying on of hands, and I grew up being afraid of people. I held many of you in high esteem and wanted to be accepted, but I had limited people skills and I feared being rejected. And that is why food service was good for me - it taught me to open up and talk to people. In May, 1971, I took a summer job working for the House of Pies Restaurant on 105th and Stark Street. I stayed with this company for 14 years. At first I worked in Oregon, Washington, and northern California. In 1976, I was transferred to Houston, TX and promoted to corporate manager in charge of franchise operations. In 1983, I met my future wife. Hoping to raise her children in a better location, we left Houston in 1985 and moved to Seaside, OR.. We lived in Seaside for several years. I worked on the banquet team at the Convention Center (serving up to 1,600 meals at one sitting) and cooking at the Pig 'N Pancake restaurant. My wife and I also owned a gift shop and an art gallery, At least once a week during the summer, I walked the beach from the Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Stevens to the mouth of the Necanicum River in Seaside. There were a lot of sand dollars on the beach back then, especially at Columbia Beach west of Warrenton where a World War II Japanese submarine shell hit the US mainland. While living in Seaside, my wife had the realization that with our employment backgrounds, we could find decent work anyplace we wanted to live. With that realization my wife and I began to travel and move around. We stopped working on how to fund a big bank account, and began working on how to enjoy living,. The one nice thing about food service is there are always jobs to be found, so my wife and I lived in many places over the years, i.e., Seaside, Portland, Newport, Bend, and Burns, OR; Leavenworth, Chelan, and Stehekin, WA, Haines and Juneau, AK, Phoenix, AZ, Reno and Winnemucca, NV, Grand Junction and Denver, CO., etc. . In time, I went to work as camp cook at a silver mine near Juneau, AK. Many of the workers lived out of state - too far away to commute back and forth to work daily, so the mine operated a man camp providing lodging, showers, and hot meals. The camp is located along the inland passage at Hawk's Inlet on Admirality Island. We saw a lot of grizzly bears, bald eagles, orca, martens, etc. Sometimes we had song birds and chipmunks in the dining room and grizzly bear nose prints on the entrance door windows. During the summer, bats could be found sleeping on walls in the hallways and the housekeepers would place a "day sleeper sticker - do not disturb' on the wall next to the sleeping bats.. This worksite location was a place where people would have gladly paid thousands of dollars to spend a few days enjoying nature, and we were getting paid a lot of money to be there. The man camp was an old remodeled fishing cannery. We lived at the man camp and worked at least 12 hours each day, 7 days a week, 4 to 12 weeks in a row, and we then received two weeks off. We were paid an hourly wage - and any work in excess of 8 hours in a day, and/or 40 hours a week paid overtime. There was no charge for our housing, meals, laundry, etc., and there was no place to spend money. I prepared meals for about 175 workers. My wife worked 12 hour shifts as a housekeeper and also helped in the dining room. Time off was like receiving a big wad of money and going on a well deserved vacation. Sometimes I also cooked for the seismic parties at Prudhoe Bay, AK. During the summer after the sea ice melted, seismic work was done on the Beaufort Sea, where I worked and lived on small specially equipped ships that would pump pressurized air through a long tube to vibrate the sea floor, but during the winter, seismic parties worked onshore in remote tundra locations. Needless to say, onshore work was really cold. The ground was frozen solid and covered with snow. Surveyors would mark a multi-acre grid, and workers known as luggers would walk this grid, stopping every ten feet to dig through the snow to place a wireless computer sensor on the frozen ground. Instead of setting off an explosive charge, a crane would drop a 60 ton weight to shake the frozen ground. The computer sensors would record the ground vibrations and transmit the motion data to a master computer that would map the dimensions of the underground cavity and record the level of liquid in the cavity. After the weight drop, the luggers again walked the grid, this time to retrieve the devices. It was cold, but being the cook I was lucky enough to work indoors. When the temperature dropped below -50 degrees (actual temperature, not wind chill), it was declared a weather day and the workers were allowed to stay indoors at camp watching satellite TV, conversing, reading and raiding the kitchen pantries. The work season usually began in early December and lasted until mid April and we experienced many weather days. In addition to preparing meals for 140 workers, I also fried donuts, baked Danish pastries, cookies, and desserts, and stocked a candy bar wall. Human bodies need a lot of calories to stay warm, so we had boxes and boxes of free candy bars for the workers. The workers ate breakfast and dinner in camp every day and also ate lunch there on stay in camp weather days, but on warmer days (if you can call -49 warmer), the workers took big sack lunches, candy bars, and fresh bakery treats to munch on during their 12 to 16 hour outdoor work shifts. Due to environmental protection policies, base camp had to be moved to a new location at least once every three days, and the camp pets - white Arctic foxes, would follow our trail through the snow. Small canines with shiny white coats and irresistible big brown eyes, the foxes would always be waiting outside the kitchen doors looking for hand outs and/or scraps of food from a broken garbage bag. The animals seemed so friendly just like cold homeless puppies begging to come indoors; but Artic foxes were often rabid. We talked to the animals, but never fed them, or tried to pick them up. We also experienced weekly fire drills - run to your assigned muster station and stay outside in -45 degree weather until the all clear alarm sounded, and we had polar bear drills - run inside and stay indoors until the all clear alarm sounded. I never saw a wild polar bear, but sometimes wolf packs would pass perhaps 100 yards from camp, I am not sure what else to tell you. Of course I am older now, hopefully a little wiser; and certainly more talkative. I still like to read and learn new things. I like to travel and explore deserted places. I like to prospect for gold, observe wildlife, and simply stated - I just like being outdoors. Although 1968 was a long time ago, I have read the classmates name lists from Marshall H.S., and I do remember most of you. Some of us even went to grade school together and then after 1968, we just disappeared never to be seen again. I would really like to hear from you, and perhaps get to know those of you I was too shy to talk to. In the meantime, thank you for looking at my profile, and best wishes towards a long and happy life. Update - it is now July, 2022. Next month I will be 72 years old. I took early retirement in 2012. My wife passed in 2014. I now live in Burns, Oregon. Harney County is about the size of the state of Massachusetts but with less than 7,000 residents in the entire county. There are fewer people per square mile in Harney County than there are people per square mile in the state of Alaska. It is 125 miles to the nearest shopping center and 130 miles to the nearest Walmart store. Luckily Amazon does deliver here. North of Burns is the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, and to the south of town is the Harney Basin, Steen's Mountain, and the northern reaches of the great basin. Several years ago, my wife and I were driving home from Winnemucca, NV. The sky was clear, the stars were bright, and jack rabbits kept scurrying across the highway.. It was a 223 mile drive home, and during that entire 223 mile drive, we never saw another set of headlights. Burns is a small town where people know their neighbors and also know /recognize most of the residents in town. The town has a movie theater, three grocery stores, a drug store, two dollar stores, several restaurants and bars, nice parks, and holiday parades. Living here is much like life in the TV program town of Mayberry, with Opie, Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea. My biggest social activity is shopping at the local grocery store. Did you know it can take 30 minutes to buy a loaf of bread at the grocery store because everyone in the store wants to say hi, LOL. Several years ago the Bundy thugs seized control of the Malheur Game Refuge headquarters. In addition to teaching school, my daughter Monica owned the janitorial contract at the refuge. Monica was working alone that day when without warning the Bundy gang and supporters pulled up. She hopped in her car and sped away, Weeks later when she was able to return to the refuge, her janitorial equipment was broken and scattered outdoors. The refuge scientists research notes, papers, specimens, etc.. had all been rifled and strewn on the office floors. Likewise, Native American artifacts stored in the basement had been removed and destroyed. Refuge heavy equipment had been used to build defense trenches and barricades , and dirt had been removed from the site of an ancient Native American settlement in order to build a new road. Several months of clean up work was required to ready the refuge headquarters for tourists, but sadly the site and artifacts at excavated native village were destroyed and can never be studied. I feel safe in this well armed town, and the miles and miles of open public land piques my never ending (what's out there) curiosity. My maternal grandmother's grand parents (Waymire) were members of the Lost Meek Wagon Train, so searching for the Lost Blue Bucket Gold Mine is part of my heritage. I enjoy roaming the open spaces in search of gold, sunstones, opal, and sapphires. I watch for wild horses on Steen's Mountain and south Stinkingwater Mountain. I have watched wild burros along Big Stick Road near Iron Mountain, and there are Indian petroglyphs on many rock outcroppings. It would be fun to find a rich vein of gold or a patch of ground covered with sunstones, but to me the biggest attraction is the freedom to roam, the freedom to explore, and the freedom to experience the peaceful solitude of being close to nature. You cannot experience nature while sitting in a bar, attending a sports event, or visiting a museum, but nature is all around the deserted desert. Miles and miles of sage brush thrive in this unsettled land decorated with red rhyolite, volcanic buttes and mafic uplifts, Skinny lizards lie motionless in the sun, warming themselves on black basalt rocks and legions of working ants are always on the move. Wildflowers sway in the wind, and floppy eared jack rabbits appear out of nowhere only to dash off to who knows where. And it is extremely quiet. Hawks and eagles float high in the sky observing everything that moves. The sunlight warms your ears and the back of your neck. Miles from the nearest ranch or town, you are completely alone with nature. One day, one of my visiting friend's wife asked, "How can you like it out here - there is nothing here?" My friend responded to his wife by saying, "You just don't get it. Having nothing here is what makes this undisturbed place so special." Four years ago, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I am at peace with myself.; I have lived a full and happy life. l have lived in many special places. I have so many fun memories and I love to reminisce about my younger years adventures. I have swum in the Beaufort Sea. I have paddled a canoe up and down Lake Chelan. I have spent many nights outdoors in Alaska watching the northern lights.. I have panned for gold in Alabama and found gold in Colorado. Here in Burns I am surrounded by my family, friends, and many wonderful people. I have lived several years beyond my medical prognosis. I am not in pain. I can still love, laugh, and learn. I lack my youthful stamina, but I can still walk and move about. I have never aspired to own the biggest house in town or to buy a new corvette every year - my aspiration has always been to have the freedom to live a happy life. and that is what I have accomplished.

The family had a small interment ceremony on November 16th 2023. Michael is survived by His sons Raymond Hahn, Phillip Lizee, and Ben McCanna; grandchildren Jenifer McCanna, Jessica Rodgers, and Kaitlin Klawitter. He is preceded by his father Wilford Hahn, mother Marilyn Hahn, wife Linda Hahn, and daughter Monica McCanna. Services will be held at the LDS church in Hines, May 11th at 1 pm.


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Memorial Service
May 11, 2024

1:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Hines, Oregon 97738
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