Rhoda Ursula Jahr was born on July 30, 1910 at home in Highland Grove Township near Hitterdal, MN to Olaf and Severina (Quam) Jahr. She was baptized at Buffalo River Lutheran Church which later became Salem Lutheran Church. She was confirmed there in 1925. She graduated from Hitterdal High School in 1929 and St. Luke?s Hospital School of Nursing in 1935. She started nursing in Crookston, but soon joined the Army Nurse Corps on January 4, 1940. She was assigned to the Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, CO with the duties of Operating Room Nurse and Supervisor.
From December 26, 1945 until November 1, 1947, Rhoda served as an Operating Room Supervisor at 10th General Hospital, Fort McKinley, Philippine Islands. She returned to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital from 1948-1950. It was during this time that Rhoda transferred to the Air Force Nurse Corps at its inception in 1949. She was a surgery nurse who eventually achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel and worked in the Armed Forces Administration. She was stationed at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver, CO; Air Force Hospital at Hunter AFB, Savannah, GA; Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ; Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; and Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. Her overseas assignments included: 10th General Hospital outside Manila, Philippine Islands; 377th USAF Hospital, Sidi Slimane AFB, Morocco; and Headquarters Pacific Air Forces with duty at Hickam AFB, Hawaii and Fuchu Air Station, Japan. Rhoda became the first woman to serve in the SW Pacific region and was Chief of the Nursing Service Division. The highlight of her military career was her assignment to the Joint US Military Advisory Group in Bangkok, Thailand as an Adviser to the Royal Thai Air Force Nursing School. She retired in 1963 and lived in Denver, CO until 2000 when she moved to Moorhead, MN. Rhoda moved to the Viking Manor in Ulen, MN in 2005 and was able to rejoin her home congregation?Salem Lutheran Church in Hitterdal.
She is survived by her siblings: Lowell Jahr, Sioux Falls, SD, Alice Nickoley, Platteville, CO, Donald(Clarice)Jahr, Ulen, MN; sister-in-law: Lois(Ed)Dalgliesh, Auburn, CA; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers and sisters-in-law: Odin Jahr, Stanton and Clara Jahr, Corliss and Hazel Jahr; Alice Jahr; and brother-in-law: Frank Nickoley.
Memorials are preferred to the Rhoda U. Jahr Foundation to be established for World Missions at Salem Lutheran Church, Hitterdal, MN.
Interment with full military honors will take place at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at East Salem Cemetery in Hitterdal, MN. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at Salem Lutheran Church, Hitterdal, MN.