April 20, 2022

Obituaries 4/20/2022

Hannah Westfield Kahn

Hannah Westfield Kahn, 97, born in Düsseldorf, Germany on Wednesday, April 23, 1924, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 8, 2022. The Kahn family mourns Hannah’s passing as we celebrate her long, eventful, and fulfilling life.

A longtime resident of Princeton, New Jersey, (she moved to Princeton in 1958 with her husband, C. Harry Kahn), Hannah was forced to leave her childhood home in Germany in 1936, alone, waiting for her family to join her. The events of Kristallnacht in 1938 hastened her family’s escape to Bournemouth, England, and in April 1940 the family arrived in the United States on a Cunard Line boat in a convoy, one of the last boats to make it from Europe. They settled in Nashville, Tennessee: her parents, Max, a portrait artist, and Rosel, a stockbroker, and her brother, Michael. She met Harry there, who was the brother of her best friend, Bertie, and they attended Vanderbilt University together, then graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. They formed many important relationships there, including an enduring friendship with Ruth Shor, their New York City “connection.” Harry went on to become a professor of economics at Rutgers University, while Hannah focused on raising their four children at their home on Linden Lane. After Harry died in 1972, Hannah worked at Mathematica, in the Public School System, and then as an Economist for the State of New Jersey until her retirement in 1986. Hannah was fortunate to unite with Lothar Sander, with whom she travelled and spent many wonderful years.

Hannah was an active member of the Princeton community. As recently as two weeks before her passing, she still hosted her book group! The book group and its members provided Hannah with a vital source of satisfaction and friendship in her later years. She was also a founding member of Community Without Walls and a member of such organizations as the League of Women Voters, the Princeton Adult School and the PTA.

Hannah lovingly endures in our memories, nestled in her rocking chair, reading, and sipping tea, or talking on the telephone to her relatives and friends, of which she had many all over the world. Her great joy was spending time at the family farm in Barnard, Vermont. There, she found peace and comfort working in the raspberry patch, hiking, cooking, eating, and laughing with friends and family; reminded of the carefree days of her early childhood and the summers spent in Bavaria, before the war altered the course of her life.

Hannah Kahn was loved and cherished greatly by all and will be much missed. Hannah is survived by her four children, Joan, Martin, Peter and Naomi, and her grandchildren, Colin, Micah, Caleb and Max. Among other organizations, Hannah was a longtime supporter of the ACLU and those wishing to may make a contribution in her name.