on July 13, 2013 - 1:15 AM
Jan. 12, 1915 – July 12, 2013
Hugo Kahn, a longtime public relations adviser for the Food Bank of Western New York who came to Buffalo after fleeing his native Germany to avoid Nazi persecution, died Friday at the Weinberg Campus in Getzville. He was 98.
Born in the small town of Horhausen, Germany, Mr. Kahn experienced anti-Semitic persecution first hand during his time as an apprentice hardware dealer in Mannheim. He left Germany for the United States in 1936, but could not persuade his parents to do the same until it was too late. He lost both parents in the Holocaust.
In America, Mr. Kahn would enlist in the Air Force and fight against the Nazis during World War II.
His ability to speak German proved to be a valuable asset, and he achieved the rank of staff sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1946.
Mr. Kahn married his late wife of 69 years, Ann Cohen, in Miami Beach in 1942. The Kahns moved to Buffalo in 1956, where Mr. Kahn began an 18-year career in clothing retail with Sattler’s, the regional department store chain.
After retiring in 1979, Mr. Kahn devoted much of his time and energy to the Food Bank, where for 21 years he served as the organization’s public relations adviser, earning the love and respect of the countless Western New Yorkers whose lives he touched. Mr. Kahn stepped down from his post in 2011.
He was honored as a Buffalo News Citizen of the Year in 1998 for his work with the Food Bank.
An avid fan of the Buffalo Bills, Mr. Kahn managed to combine several of his passions through his work organizing the Bills’ annual Fan Food Drive. He was also a member of the Bills’ Monday Quarterback Club.
Services will be offered at 11 a.m. Sunday at Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road, Getzville.