Homer doctor dies in East End Road crash

Medical issue caused Dr. Kenneth Hahn, 65, to crash car on Sunday afternoon.

Correction: The last name of Linda Stearns was spelled incorrectly and has been updated here.

A Homer doctor died of a medical condition that led to a car crash on Sunday afternoon near Homer. According to a press release from the Alaska State Troopers on Monday, troopers went to a single-vehicle crash about 3:10 p.m. Feb. 6 near Mile 10 East End Road.

Troopers said the sole driver and occupant in the vehicle, Dr. Kenneth Hahn, 65, suffered a medical issue while driving and went into the ditch. He was declared dead at the scene.

Trooper Public Information Officer Austin McDaniel said on Monday that Hahn did not die of injuries in the crash. The official cause of death has not yet been determined and is under investigation.

“He had some sort of medical issue and the vehicle rolled into the ditch after that medical issue occurred,” McDaniel said.

Hahn’s son, Liam Hahn, said people who saw the crash stopped and started cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, but they and responding medics from Kachemak Emergency Services were unable to revive him.

Specializing in family practice, Hahn came to Homer from Carnation, Washington, in 1996 to join a medical practice with Dr. Paul Raymond, a longtime friend and fellow medical student at the University of Washington, Seattle. Hahn moved to Carnation after completing his residency in Providence, Rhode Island. Hahn worked at the Kachemak Medical Group with Raymond.

“He was a very close friend for 42 years,” Raymond said on Monday. “… He was a very good doctor. We’re all in shock. … This is going to be a big void for the community.”

Hahn was on the South Peninsula Hospital medical staff from 1996 to 2017 and had been a regular physician in the Emergency Department. He also served as Chief of Staff in 2012.

“We were all saddened to learn of his passing,” SPH spokesperson Derotha Ferraro wrote in an email. “… Our halls and Zooms (online meetings) are filled this week with stories of Dr. Hahn’s kindness and generosity. In addition to being a valued healthcare provider on our team, he always took time to share a story, support a fundraiser or inspire others to learn and grow by sharing tips from his many accomplished hobbies. Though no longer providing care at SPH, he played a very important role in the community as a long-time primary care provider. His care and kindness will be missed by many.”

In addition to his work as a doctor, Hahn also was part of Homer’s peony farming and gardening community.

“He was a great doctor and most people knew him for that, but his real passion was gardening,” Liam Hahn said. “He loved plants. He could name (the scientific name) any plant he grew.”

Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony said Hahn was one of the first peony farmers on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Hahn volunteered for the Homer Peony Project, a program to plant and maintain peony gardens on Pioneer Avenue that was part of making Homer “The City of Peonies.” Shoultz said Hahn held numerous fundraising events at his home.

“He was the one if you saw flowers in the restaurants, it was either him or me. He loved to share,” she said.

Shoultz said Hahn had a gift for gardening.

“That really was his first passion,” she said.

Liam Hahn said his father would spend the week tending his gardens at his home off East End Road and then spend the weekend at his gardens at a beach house on Kachemak Bay.

“He loved the area,” Liam Hahn said. “… He enjoyed sharing nature with the people he loved. He loved entertaining. He was on the way to hosting a party that night. Flowers were right there in the passenger seat.”

Hahn is survived by his children, Liam Hahn and Logan Hahn of Homer and Laura Hahn of Anchorage; two grandchildren, Desmond and Enzo Hahn; four siblings, and his longtime girlfriend, Linda Stearns.

Details for a memorial service are pending and will be announced at a later date, Liam Hahn said.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.