Joseph John Hahn Jr.

FREEPORT – Joseph John Hahn Jr. departed the pattern August 26, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. He was 82.

Joe was born in Los Angeles on April 9, 1939. He was the only child of Angela Mirandi of Potenza, Italy and Joseph J. Hahn of New York, N.Y. He was raised in the Bronx, N.Y. by his mother, where he attended Mount St Michael’s Academy and enjoyed stickball and roasting potatoes in vacant lots. During high school he worked as a bus boy, soda jerk and Good Humor man at Yankee Stadium.

Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 18, a decision that defined and enriched his life. The Marine Corps instilled core values of honor, courage and commitment, and provided a great education and world travel. Joe qualified for an NROTC Scholarship and graduated from the University of Missouri as a second lieutenant with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. His real passion, however, was flying. He was admitted to the flight program at Pensacola and later assigned to 1st Marine A6A Squadron at Cherry Point, N.C. He was stationed in Danang in 1966, where his efforts were rewarded with a Distinguished Flying Cross and 13 Air Medals. Upon returning to the States, he completed his juris doctorate from the University of Missouri and advanced degrees in international law and labor law from George Washington University. He served the Marine Corps as a trial lawyer and staff judge advocate until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1981. Following his military retirement, Joe enjoyed an active civilian practice in employment and labor law in Chicago and later with Bernstein Shur in Portland. He was most proud that one of his cases was accepted and favorably decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Joe was a transportation guy. Most weekends, he was either on the water or in the air. His sailboat, Aviva, was a member of the family and he loved his airplane, a Romanian IAR training plane painted in camouflage. Spaghetti dinner parties on Aviva and the silence of dawn on Casco Bay gave him great joy, as did sailing adventures to the Caribbean and Greece. Likewise, except for a few attempts at military acrobatics with the IAR, there was nothing more exhilarating than an outstretched runway, each takeoff and landing unique and challenging.

Joe also loved the arts, particularly classical music and opera. He visited and compared productions of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” in many world famous opera houses and, to the dismay of his close friends (and wife), he would have long discussions about the merits of each production. He designed sets for community theater in Chicago and for “The Tempest,” performed at L.L.Bean’s Discovery Park.

Joe was committed to service to his country and to community. To that end, he lent his talents to the Freeport Conservation Committee, Freeport Harbor Committee, Freeport Shakespeare Festival, Wolfe Neck Farm, Casco Bay YMCA and Freeport Historical Society. Most recently and most importantly he served as a mentor with and board member of Veteran Mentors of Maine, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing guidance and support to Veterans with PTSD who run afoul of the law. He took great satisfaction in his work with the Veterans and the collaboration with the Maine Veterans’ Court.

Civil rights were of great interest to Joe. He would wake at night contemplating discrimination issues. He created the first minority enrollment program at his law school and, following retirement, volunteered with a civil rights NGO in South Africa. He wrote a handbook on access to the Equality Court System provided under the South African Constitution, which prompted the SA government to create a website dedicated to Equality Court procedures. Until recently, Joe enjoyed nothing better than political and philosophical discussions with good dinner companions and a little scotch. His companions would agree that he was often astute, very funny, and periodically irascible.

Beyond his many interests and accomplishments, Joe was most completely devoted to his family.

He is survived by his wife, Leslie Hallock; and by his son, Joe (Allison Askew), and daughter, Jill (Victor Mills); and five grandchildren, Jack and Grace Hahn and Bailey, Sawyer and Oliver Mills.

He was an engaged father and grandfather who dearly loved encouraging, teaching, playing and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was beyond proud of each of them. Joe and Leslie shared a 31-year marriage, a loving, happy, interesting partnership, the best years of their lives.

After years of silent struggle with Agent Orange-related diseases, Joe flew west, with his wife and daughter beside him, free and at peace. Joe will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

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