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Alan Kahn, 86, Specialist in Transportation Law

June 18, 2009
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Alan Kahn

Alan Kahn, 86, a retired attorney who specialized in transportation law, died May 23.

A 1940 graduate of West Philadelphia High School, where he won a letter in gymnastics, Kahn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in only three years, so that he could serve in the U.S. Navy. He rose to the rank of lieutenant.

After the war, Kahn attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1948. He returned to Philadelphia, where he met his wife, the former Norma Bernstein. Married in 1949, they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 12.

Kahn practiced in Philadelphia for about 50 years, specializing in transportation law for much of his career. He started at the firm of Richter, Lord & Lafarge, and then in 1958 co-founded the firm of Winokur & Kahn, which later became Kahn, Bushman, Rosenberg & Weisberg, and eventually merged into Abrahams and Loewenstein.

He raised his family in East Oak Lane, where he served as president of the Oak Lane Civic Association. He was also president of the Men's Club of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. Soon after moving with his wife to Foulkeways at Gwynedd, he served as president of the Foulkeways Residents' Association and, despite his poor health near the end, founded and served as president of the Residents' Council of Gwynedd House, the skilled-nursing facility at Foulkeways.

From his mid-40s until he was nearly 60, Kahn worked out regularly on the parallel bars at Penn's Hutchinson Gym. He also took up tennis, skiing, running, hiking and rock-climbing, and served for many years as president of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. He was an avid skier until his late 70s, becoming a certified amateur ski instructor.

Kahn served as Democratic Committeeman for his precinct in Gwynedd Valley. He was a member of the World Federalist Movement and Common Cause.

He attended the World Conference on World Peace Through the Rule of Law twice: in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1971) and in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (1973).

In retirement, he was a dedicated volunteer who helped distribute sandwiches to homeless people in the streets of Philadelphia.

In addition to his wife, Kahn is survived by daughters Emily Freedman and Marcia Kaminker; son James Kahn; brother Ralph Kahn; and seven grandchildren.

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