Originally published: April 26, 12:14 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2013, 1:14 p.m.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Hundreds of friends, family and others touched by the life and work of Jamie Kirk Hahn attended a memorial service for her today at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Hahn, 29, died early Wednesday morning from injuries received during a attack at her home.
Hahn, who is survived by her husband Nation, was a Democratic fundraiser and strategist who dedicated her work to political campaigns and causes she believed in, including the the 2012 anti-LGBT amendment campaign’s Coalition to Protect All N.C. Families.
At the memorial, Nation spoke of his wife’s love and dedication to family and friends.
“Jamie believed in families and in the importance of families,” he said. “Not just your family tree, but everyone you’re connected to. Everyone you’re connected to is your family.
Jamie’s leadership and life, he said, were a testament to her personality. Calling her “my hero,” Nation Hahn said his wife worked to inspire others.
“She taught us that leadership didn’t have to be about your title, didn’t have to be about chairing the meeting, being on the board or being in higher office,” he said. “It was about lifting people up, inspiring them, embracing them and picking them up when they fall and, yes, it was about making them feel like they really, really matter.
“That’s why she had such an impact on people why she has impact on us still,” he continued. “She had an impact on everyone even if she hadn’t known them long. That’s the power she had and that was real power. And the thing is she didn’t even realize she had it. If all of us behaved a little more like Jamie, if all of us looked after our families more, if all of us picked up each other a little more, the world would be a better place.”
Nation Hahn asked those gathered to live by his wife’s example.
“If you feel inspired by Jamie’s example, I ask you to live and work by it,” he said. “Stick with the promises you make. Go see your parents. Tell your spouse and children you love them. Make your fundraising calls. Stick to your diet. Drive past Chick-fil-A. Get your exercise. Adopt that puppy, that child, that lost soul. You may have to take a risk, but be one of the helpers. That’s what she’d want from us.”
Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Baptist, where the couple were members, said Jamie’s life was like bright light and reflected a “dedication to the common good” and her “deep desire to build God’s kingdom here on earth for all people.”
“Jamie made all of us believe that the future could be better,” Petty said. “That love always overcomes hate, that mercy is stronger than judgment and that forgiveness and grace is more powerful than vengeance.”
Jamie Hahn’s death this week resulted in an outpouring of support for her family.
“Jamie and I saw so many helpers this week,” he said, referencing a quote by Fred Rogers. “The neighbors who staunched her bleeding and made us feel safe and thankfully remembered our words of love for one another. The emergency workers, the police, the people at WakeMed, the friends who came to the hospital and who have been with us every day since. For Jamie and for me, thank you all. You are our family.”
Petty sent words of love and encouragement to Nation Hahn and Jamie Hahn’s family.
“The outpouring of love that this community has seen is truly a testament to how well Jamie and Nation loved others,” she said.
An obituary for Jamie Hahn ran in Friday’s News & Observer.
Jamie was a rising star in politics,” the obituary reads. “She was an idealist who lived her beliefs. She dedicated her life and her labor to the goal of human dignity for all – rich and poor, black and white, young and old, gay and straight. She saw public service as the way to achieve that goal. She was taken from us too early. But she touched uncounted numbers of people whose expressions of love and support have sustained her family in this difficult time.”
For more coverage on the Hahns, read our developing story.