Luke William Hahn was born on July 7, 1997. He was a sweet, quiet baby and was adored by his two older sisters, Sammi and Lexi as well as all of his family. He grew into a “typical” little boy, loving anything on wheels, peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches, and working with his Daddy. As a young child, Luke was diagnosed with learning disabilities. He struggled academically with reading and writing throughout his school experience. He had the support of a caring family, wonderful teachers, and a close-knit group of friends which helped him succeed. As he grew into a young boy, it was totally apparent what was important to him: his close-knit group of friends, his family, and his “big” dirt jumper bike. Many remember him spending time with his buddies on his bike. He was known for being able to do the longest wheelie, amazing all of his friends. He was also known for the many hugs he gave to his friends, telling them he loved them on multiple occasions. He could be counted on to give support or offer his help to someone in need, having compassion for those needing a pat on the back or a word of encouragement. I would be completely lacking if I did not mention his hilarious sense of humor which consisted of pranks, jokes, and that unforgettable laugh. Luke truly lived his life to the fullest or as I like to say, he lived his life in “fast forward.” He never wasted a day and always showed our family what was truly important in life.
On July 5, 2010, the unthinkable happened. Two days before Luke’s thirteenth birthday, I received a phone call no parent wants to get. Luke and his father, Kraig were in a horrific accident. Luke had been helping his dad on a farm. There was a propane tank explosion. Kraig was burned eighty-three percent of his body and was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital’s burn unit. Luke was killed instantly. The world went immediately dark. We learned Kraig would have a less than five percent chance of survival and if he would survive life as we knew it would be filled with many surgeries, months of physical therapy, not to mention, the emotional issues of losing Luke. Our family took one day at a time and with plenty of amazing care and expertise from his doctors and nurses, Kraig made it through the 35+ surgeries and has regained his mobility and his spirit. Those days were filled with the constant love and support from our families, friends and from our very small, yet amazing, community. There was not a day that someone would not cook for us, give us a ride to the hospital, send cards or letters expressing their sympathy, or just the comfort of a hug while sitting quietly with us as we sat in disbelief. We will never be able to thank everyone enough for helping our family through the most difficult time of our lives.
It was out of this incredible showing of compassion that our commitment to giving back came about. The result of that commitment was the creation of the Luke William Hahn Foundation. Each year our foundation awards a scholarship to a high school student or students with learning disabilities or special needs who will be furthering their education at a trade school or college. We also recognized the need for grief support for school-age children. It is our primary focus for the community we serve. We now provide school-based peer grief support groups for children and adolescents in grades Kindergarten through twelve in our local community. It is our foundation’s goal to offer programs in an area (grief) that is often underserved, but invaluable to the well-being of both children and families. As our foundation continues to grow and expand, we will always keep the empathy and compassion shown to us in the forefront in our minds. In 2022, our organization celebrated our ten-year anniversary. We have supported hundreds of grieving children and their families in our community. We will continue providing bereavement services to all whose lives have been affected by the loss of someone special.