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Benjamin D. Hahn

October 24, 1932 — February 27, 2024


Benjamin D. Hahn

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Ben Hahn, storyteller, good advice giver, and distributor of ice cream money, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2024, with his wife of over 66 years by his side. After 91 years and over 3 billion heartbeats, his body simply wore out.

Ben’s story began on October 24, 1932, when he became the fourth child born to Laura and Benjamin Hahn, Sr., in Embden, North Dakota. In 1944, his family moved to a home on Langer Avenue in Casselton. After the premature death of their father in 1948, Ben, his younger brother, and seven living sisters were singlehandedly raised by their capable mother. He graduated from Casselton High School in 1950.

From 1954–1956, Ben proudly served in the U.S. Army as a Company Clerk in Japan. Upon discharge, he promptly took advantage of the GI Bill to become the first college graduate in his family, but not before meeting the love of his life, Eleanor “Bernie” Anseth who he affectionately referred to as “The Little Norwegian.” They were married on June 8, 1957 in Noonan, ND.

In 1960, Ben earned his BA in Business Administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, and in 1961, his MA in Accounting & Business Law from the University of North Dakota. He became a CPA the following year.

Always a team, Eleanor supported Ben’s educational pursuits by working as a pediatric nurse. It was Ben’s fate to be surrounded by strong women. Between 1958 and 1970, he and Eleanor welcomed five daughters. Eleanor can assure you that Ben never once expressed disappointment in having “another girl.” He did, however, welcome each son-in-law with open arms. Ben always believed that his daughters deserved the same rights, opportunities, and education as any boy, and he worked hard to ensure they got them.

Ben’s position as the Comptroller and Assistant Director at the North Dakota State Hospital brought the Hahn family to Jamestown, ND, in 1963. During this time, he also taught part-time in the business department at Jamestown College. He served as mentor, champion and support to those around him, and took great pride in following his students throughout their careers.

In 1974, Mr. Hahn became the President of The Neuropsychiatric Institute in Fargo and successfully ran the organization until his retirement in 1993.  It was during his tenure at TNI that he made the legendary decision to bring the first CT scanner to the tri-state region.

A man of deep and abiding faith, wherever he lived Ben became involved in his church community, and his pastors became trusted advisors and life-long friends.

During his retirement years, Ben’s family spent many happy days at the lake home he purchased on Little McDonald Lake, where memories and s’mores were made and where each grandchild’s and great-grandchild’s growth is measured on the wall for posterity. Important children in his life were always sent home with money for ice cream, his favorite sweet treat.

In 2016, Ben and Eleanor sold their beloved Fargo home of 42 years and moved to Minneapolis to be closer to their children and grandchildren, one of the many selfless gifts they gave to their family.

In a life full of educational and professional accomplishments, Ben would be the first to tell you that his family is his greatest legacy.  He lives on through them.  They know his stories and will tell his stories for years to come.

Ben was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed by his wife, Eleanor Hahn; five daughters and sons-in-law: Lezlie and Brad Oachs, Deann and Jeff Torrison, Bobette and Mark Berno, Lara and Troy Butner, and Amy and Joel Briggs; twelve grandchildren: Rebecca, Emily Rose, Jake, Leah, Charley, Peter, Elle, Sophie, Abby, Molly, Jamie and Joe; five great-grandchildren: Lyla, Elsie, Gavin, Winslow and Boone; three sisters: Beverly, Barbara and Marilyn; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members, close friends, former students and colleagues, neighbors, and many, many others whose lives he touched and shaped over his 91 years.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Laura and Benjamin Daniel Hahn, Sr., his brother, Edward, and sisters, Marjorie, Marion, Shirley, Phyllis, and Donna.

His family wishes to thank the staff of Broadwell Senior Living, North Hospice, and J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of both Ben and his family during the final weeks of his life.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 PM on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 7401 County Rd. 101, Maple Grove, MN 55331 with a time of sharing at 4:30 PM.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at Lord of Life on Monday, March 18, 2024, at 11:00 AM with an hour visitation prior to the service at church with a light lunch to follow.

As a family of proud Cobber alumni, memorials are preferred to Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Benjamin D. Hahn, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, March 17, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, March 18, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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