Gerald “Willy” Hahn, 67, of Boyd, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Dawson. Memorial services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boyd. Rev. Lori Wold officiated and interment was in the church cemetery. Visitation with the family was held on Wednesday, March 28, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church with a prayer service starting at 6:30 p.m.
Gerald William Hahn, better known as “Willy” or “Jerry” by his friends and family, passed away suddenly on March 24, 2018 at the age of 67. Willy loved to spend time with his friends and family, go to country music festivals, hang out in his garage, and if you didn’t find him at home, you knew you could find him out driving around the countryside. He always loved it when people stopped by to socialize and have a beer.
In the winter months he loved to watch his favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, play on Sundays. In the summer months, he would be out and about in his golf cart driving the country roads looking for asparagus or just enjoying the day. He loved to bird watch and enjoyed gardening. His grandchildren were the light of his life. He enjoyed watching them play outdoor sports where he was able to easily watch from the seat of his van or golf cart.
Gerald was born on March 12, 1951 at the Clarkfield hospital. He was baptized into the Christian faith on April 8, 1951 and confirmed on April 11th, 1965 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Boyd. He attended elementary and high school in Boyd until 1969 when the Boyd High School closed. He attended Dawson High School for his senior year and graduated in 1970.
Jerry was united in marriage to Anita Erickson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boyd on Jan 8, 1972. After the wedding, the couple headed out to Tacoma, WA where Jerry was stationed in the Army as an assistant gunner. They welcomed their first child, Chad William, in June of 1972 while in Washington. Gerald was honorably discharged from the Army in April 1974 and they returned to Boyd. In April 1980, the couple was blessed with a daughter, Carin Angela. While in Boyd, Willy found work with a few businesses including Hogenson Construction and Priebe Brothers Tiling before settling in to work at Boyd Farmer’s Elevator.
Willy also took on additional work doing auto body repair at Randy’s Customs in Boyd. He was a hard worker and only knew one speed...fast! He would never just walk. He enjoyed working with his hands and always had to be busy doing several jobs at once.
While working at the elevator on August 28, 1986, his life and the life of his family would be forever changed. He had vacation planned that day with plans to attend the Minnesota State Fair, but in true Willy fashion, he went in early before leaving for vacation to get things set up for the next day’s work. While moving a grain auger, an accident occurred and rendered Willy paralyzed from the waist down. He would spend the next 3 months in the hospital at the University of Minnesota relearning the necessary skills to live his life back in Boyd.
Upon returning home, life wasn’t easy, but Willy always kept a positive attitude. As long as he had his friends and family, he had it all. He was always the life of the party whether it was at home, We Fest, or at the Boyd Liquor Store. Willy would always have a smile on his face and wanted everyone to have fun and enjoy life as much as he did. He liked to travel to different parts of the U.S., particularly Branson, MO. He loved going to country musical festivals with his favorite singer being Alan Jackson or “AJ” as he called him.
He always looked forward to his annual trip to We Fest. He met many lifelong friends there and even played matchmaker to a few that resulted in marriages. “The Girls from the Cities”, as they were commonly referred to around Boyd, consisted of Lynn Foley, Loretta “Reba” Frank, Sue “Jabsie” Steinke, Sue “Uppy” Opsahl, and Jeannette “Beaner” Strand. Their friendship and loyalty meant the world to him. Willy attended every year since the festival began in 1983. Willy said that 2017 was going to be his last We Fest. It also ended up being one of his best as his daughter, Carin, surprised him by attending alongside him. This was the highlight of his year!
Willy was a member of the Boyd Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years. He served on the Boyd City Council for several years. He enjoyed playing slow-pitch softball up until the time of his accident and watching Chad play thereafter. As the years have gone by, Willy’s ability to get around had slowed down a bit.
He still enjoyed the simple things in life, but just wasn’t able to do things like he used to. For the last 3 months of his life, Willy’s parents, Merle and Arlene were house guests living with him while their house was under repair. What a blessing in disguise this was! The last few days of his life on earth were spent with Cooper, his constant canine companion at his side. Cooper would sit in the passenger’s seat and ride around with Jerry for endless hours without complaint.
On his last day, his lifelong friend and neighbor Rick Johnson helped him to get his van un-stuck from the snow. This was a common theme from a great community of countless friends always willing to help Willy out anytime he needed a hand.
Gerald “Willy” Hahn is survived by his son, Chad (Kim) Hahn of Dawson; daughter, Carin (Scott) Buseman of Waconia; parents, Merle and Arlene; sister, Barb (Robert) Henrichs; special friend, Lynnette Foss; grandchildren: Rachel, Braxton, and Brayden Hahn and Bryce and Eric Buseman; nephews: Ryan Henrichs (Julie Dahlen), Darren Henrichs, and Robbie (Alisa) Henrichs along with great nephew, Ryan Henrichs Jr.; and great nieces: Faith Henrichs and Chloe Henrichs and Cassandra Englund.
Gerald was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Dorothy Hahn and John and Pearl Doose; aunts and uncles: Violet Anderson, Chuck and Ruby Doose, Dick and Shirley Shogren, John Doose, Don Priebe, Marie and William Priebe, Marilyn and Francis Johnson, Daryl and Margaret Hahn, and Phyllis Hahn. Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield handled arrangements.