Ricky E. Hahn of Wakefield, Kansas, passed away Jan. 5, 2022, at Northeastern Health System in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Visitation hours will be 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Johnson Funeral Home in Junction City. Rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, officiated by Fr. Gnanasekar Kulandi. Inurnment will be at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery in Manhattan at a later date.
Rick was born on Nov. 9, 1949, to Clarence J. Hahn and Evelyn R. (Corl) Hahn Hathaway of Howell, Michigan.
Rick is survived by his wife Janet, to whom he was married for 36 and a half years, daughter Kristina Klein and granddaughter Mackenzie of Webberville, Michigan; step-son Scott Gross and step-granddaughter Seren of Atlanta, Georgia; brother Greg J. (Gloria) Hahn, Ruidoso, New Mexico; step-brothers Jack Hathaway (Kathleen), Peoria, Illinois; Jim (Christine) Hathaway, Redding, California; step-sister Diane (Fred) Barney, Albany, New York, and many nieces and nephews and cousins with whom he enjoyed visiting when he had the chance. He was preceded in death by parents, step-father Jack Hathaway and newborn son Joseph Edward Hahn.
He graduated from Howell High School in 1967 where he lettered in track, football and wrestling. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Junction City and served as Sacristan for five years. He loved his Catholic faith and tried to live it as best he could. He was a member of Wakefield VFW Post 7774 and served as Judge Advocate and Adjutant. Rick also served on the Wakefield City Council for several years.
Rick loved Kristina and his granddaughter with all his heart and made Mackenzie’s photo his home screen on his phone and computer. He always looked forward to their annual visits.
As we grow older, we realize how much family means to us and Rick’s relationship with Greg grew stronger over the years. They were going to meet this spring and Rick was excited and looked forward to that as well.
His special friends include his cherished high school friend, Lynn Pahl of Gulf Shores, Alabama; Frankie Holton, Junction City, Bill and Connie Howsden, Wakefield, and “little sister” Patty Wilson and family, Killeen, Texas.
Rick was part of a PTSD group at Topeka Veterans Affairs, and he was forever bonded with and grateful to the men in that group.
Rick was a member of the Ripcord Association, which was the battle fought in Vietnam March 12 — July 23, 1970. His brother in arms, Fred Shuttleworth, gave this tribute to Rick:
“Rick and I were assigned to the same mortar squad in E/2/506 and went through the twenty-three day siege of Ripcord together. The highest compliment I can pay him is that he was dependable and that he always covered my back. He was brave, strong, professional and the best gunner I ever had the pleasure of working with. On the day of evacuation from Ripcord, Rick and I made the long run together through mortar fire all the way from Impact Rock to the top of the hill, where the VIP helicopter pad was located. We rode the same chopper off the base, and it has forever in my mind linked us together when I think of my Ripcord experience. Words can’t express the joy of meeting him again 46 years later at the reunion. It was then that I discovered Rick had stayed in the military and served in Desert Storm. He is a true hero. Rick — I thank you, I love you and may you rest in eternal peace.”
Rick retired from the US Army in 1993 after 20 years of service with his last duty station being Ft. Riley, Kansas. Rick was a veteran of the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. His awards include: Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star, Bronze Star Medal w/V Device, Bronze Star Medal w/2nd Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Good Conduct Medal 6th Award, Overseas Service Ribbon “4”, Army Commendation Medal w/2nd OLC, Expert 45 Cal Pistol Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon “3”, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/3 Bronze Stars, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/4 Bronze Stars, Vietnam Actions Unit Commendation, Marksman M16 Rifle.
Donations may be made in Rick’s memory to any or all of the following charities: Saint Francis Xavier Catholic School, 218 N. Washington St., Junction City, Kansas 66441, Wreaths Across America at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and click on sponsorship, or to Wakefield VFW Post 7774, 1301 3rd St., Wakefield, Kansas 67487.
To leave a special online message for the family, visit www.johnsonjc.com.