Obituary: Hannah Walker Austin (2024)

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NORTH YARMOUTH - Hannah Walker Austin, of North Yarmouth, passed away at home on April 8, 2024, at the age of ...


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Hannah Walker Austin

NORTH YARMOUTH – Hannah Walker Austin, of North Yarmouth, passed away at home on April 8, 2024, at the age of 27, following a valiant and courageous battle with brain cancer for nearly three years. She was a much-loved and appreciated daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend.

Ever positive and graceful in her quest to fully enjoy each and every day of her life, Hannah touched many in the process and always valued kindness and compassion for others, choosing to appreciate all of the time she had rather than lamenting the time she did not. One of her wishes was for those who loved her to know that she loved them back – even more.

Hannah was born in Great Barrington, Mass. on March 22, 1997, the daughter of Eric P. and Amy (Tripp) Austin. At a young age, Hannah was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic disorder which presented various challenges throughout her lifetime. Yet Hannah always met any challenge with humor and humility, rather than letting them prevent her from doing what she loved—and when Hannah loved something, everyone knew it! She had a resounding love for family, cats (she particularly adored Fred), the world of running, games and puzzles, “Star Wars”, medieval history, fantasy literature, ’70s and ’80s rock music, and plenty of dark chocolate. Hannah also treasured her relationship with her younger sister, Sarah, holding an immense sense of pride and satisfaction in supporting her sister’s current work in obtaining a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Those who knew Hannah witnessed the immensity of her kindness, sincerity, and determination. She never sacrificed authenticity for acceptance. She was just Hannah, with no pretenses. Her family and friends will remember her for many things, including her unique ability to recall specific memories others had long forgotten, for her optimism and capacity to live in the moment, and for sharing humorous perspectives that never required taking oneself too seriously.

Hannah attended North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) throughout her middle and high school years, where she developed passions for academics, athletics, and community. Hannah remained forever grateful for the committed and caring teachers who helped and inspired her along the way. She developed an abiding love for running and fitness in high school and thrived in her involvement in cross country and track. In fact, she enjoyed returning after college to help her coach, as a mentor for younger runners.

Hannah graduated from Bates College in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Classical and Medieval Studies. She competed in all 12 collegiate seasons for the Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams, an accomplishment that she fondly attributed to her beloved coach and wonderful teammates. Her dedication to and love of running and the associated camaraderie throughout the state of Maine and greater New England became a part of who she was throughout her adult life.

Hannah forged lifelong friendships during and following her years at NYA and Bates, and she maintained close connections with many people, all of whom were incredibly supportive to her and her family throughout the years before and after her diagnosis.

Hannah is survived by her parents, Eric and Amy, of North Yarmouth; her sister, Sarah, of Cambridge, Mass.; her maternal grandmother, Judy Conkling Tripp, of Westport, Mass., her paternal grandparents, Russell and Carol (Hunt) Austin, of Westmoreland, N.H.; her maternal aunt and uncle, Christy and Christian Cheetham, of New Boston, N.H., her paternal aunts and uncles, Debbie Austin-Brown and Michael Brown, of Keene, N.H., and Becky Healey and Jeff Smith of Troy, N.H.; and her many cousins.

Hannah was predeceased by her maternal grandfather, David Tripp; and paternal uncle, Douglas Austin.

Hannah’s family wishes to thank the wonderful and caring medical professionals at MaineHealth Cancer Care, Maine Medical Center, the Neurofibromatosis Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, The Dempsey Center, and Hospice of Southern Maine. Hannah had immense respect and appreciation for her doctors and their staff, all of whom cared greatly about her journey and her happiness. In addition, Hannah’s family would like to thank her high school coach, Chris Mazzurco, and her college coach, Jay Hartshorn, for their constant inspiration, support, and friendship.

Hannah would be honored if everyone who loved her participated in a run/walk for their favorite local charity. She would also be thrilled to know that an event t-shirt is acquired, as everyone knew how much Hannah absolutely loved her race t-shirts that served as keepsakes of all the race locations and causes for which she ran.

Those interested in further honoring Hannah can donate in her name and memory to either of the following:

Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART),

302 Range Rd.,

Cumberland, ME 04021

North Yarmouth Academy,

148 Main St.,

Yarmouth, ME 04096

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