Professor Kish  Hahn

Professor Kish Hahn

1931 - 2022

Share Your Memory of
Professor Kish

Obituary of Professor Kish Hahn

After a very full and interesting life, Kish passed away, peacefully, at Sunnyside Home in Kitchener, after a long decline, on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at the age of 90.

Born in 1931 in Luderitz, South West Africa (now Namibia), Kish grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Always a dreamer, he first studied music and photography and began his career working at the University of Cape Town in the Photographic Department.  In 1958, Kish married Helena Kirstein and, after living together in Cape Town for four years, they fled apartheid in 1962. They arrived by boat at the Port of Montreal in order to take advantage of a role for Kish at the newly established University of Waterloo. Many of his photos from the 1960s appear as part of the University of Waterloo archives. Kish found his life’s purpose at the Department of Engineering where he was a Professor of Systems Design Engineering from 1971 to 2000. In 1992, he was the recipient of University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teacher Award.


Kish loved to travel and had the opportunity to see much of the world on his adventures. He enjoyed cooking, gardening, and playing the piano. He loved cats, particularly Siamese. 


He was predeceased by his wife Helena (Kirstein) Hahn in 2016. Kish is survived by his daughters Michele Austin (Dale) and Francoise Olmstead (Tim) and his grandchildren Samantha, Justin, Sophie, Jemma and Ava. 


The family cannot express enough gratitude to all the health care workers who have cared for Kish over the years, in particular the Sunnyside Nursing Home. We encourage you to support the Sunnyside Foundation, a registered charity that raises funds to enhance the lives of older adults in Waterloo Region.


Cremation has taken place.  Condolences for the family and memorial donations to the Sunnyside Foundation may be arranged by contacting the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo, or 519-745-8445.