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Mrs.  Florence Rosholt Jowdy

Obituary for Mrs. Florence Rosholt Jowdy

June 29, 1920 - February 14, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 97

We have lost a true Patriot, a real American.


Florence "Flo" Jowdy was born in Warba, Minnesota to Theodore Hans and Doris Joyce Rosholt, and had one brother, Charles Mathias Rosholt. Her dad's family came from Norway, her mother traced her roots to the American Revolution. Flo grew up on the family farm with tales from her grandmother about traveling across the plains in a covered wagon; and her mother drove a buggy to teach at the local one-room school house. They moved to Oregon while her Dad worked in the construction of the Hoover Dam, and she received her Educational Psychology degree from Oregon State College.

Her career began in the public relations department of Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood. Then she answered the call of her beloved country enlisting in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) early 1943.

She was sent to Des Moines, Iowa for officer training, graduating as a Lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps (WAC). Stationed in San Francisco she was in charge of a Passenger Terminal, processing personnel going to the Pacific from Hamilton Field as part of Air Transport Command. She was there when President Roosevelt died and for V-E Day, but her fondest memory of that period was being on the airport tarmac to receive the Bataan/Corregidor nurses on their arrival back to the United States. Also in attendance was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

After WWII she went into the Reserves and in 1946 entered the Pasadena Playhouse School of the Theatre on the G.I. Bill, as a member of the "52-20 Club". (The G.I. Bill assisting veterans of WWII with their education expenses included $20 per week for 52 weeks while attending school, hence the term "52-20 Club".) She received a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts and then worked as Assistant Manager of the Laguna Beach Little Theatre.

Recalled to active duty in 1949 in the Women's Air Force (WAF) she was assigned to Erding Air Depot, West Germany; her duties as Captain in the US Air Force included Administrative Assistant to the Wing Commander; WAF Squadron Commander; and Assistant Military Defense Counsel for pre-trial investigations. Travel included trips to Scotland, Ireland, England, Africa and European countries. On one of these flights, she met, and later married, a WWII B17 pilot, Frank Jowdy, who was flying cargo planes for the Berlin Airlift. After their marriage she was required to resign her Captain's commission to have her first child, Marilyn.

Following her marriage to Frank, her connection to the military continued as she moved with her husband's assignments to California, where the children were born and, back to Germany, then Ohio, Colorado, Alabama, Virginia, back to Colorado, and then to his final assignment in his home town San Antonio at Kelly AFB. Until his retirement from the Air Force in 1977, Flo was active in Officers Wives Clubs, and volunteered for various programs, including serving as PTA co-president in her children's elementary school in Colorado; and the Red Cross hospital volunteer program "Gray Ladies" at Fort Belvoir, VA during the Vietnam War.

After Frank's military retirement in 1977, they returned to his hometown of San Antonio TX. Highlights with her husband included: Working in Iran for Bell Helicopter, cowering on the apartment floor amid gunfire during the Shah's overthrow, being escorted out with her blond hair covered on one of the last flights, leaving behind all belongings. Working in Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea with the international community, organizing community theatre. Working for Bechtel at the nuclear plant in Bay City, TX. Touring the world, including Egypt and China. Playing bridge with her friends at Oakwell Farms and the Inn at Los Patios. Attending University of Texas Longhorns football, baseball and basketball games.

Parallel with her activities as Military wife, mother and volunteer, she continued her lifelong passion in the theatre. During her husband's assignments for 20 years she acted in various community theatres, particularly the Civic Players in Colorado Springs. After retirement in San Antonio, she acted with a murder mystery troupe, then was affiliated with The Steven Stoli Entertainment Group as resident actress. She continued acting in the theatre into her 80's and was nominated for a Globe (local) award for Best Actress in "Old Ladies' Guide to Survival".

She and Stoli worked together to form a World War II Memorial Museum in San Antonio, as she felt the younger generations should be informed of the many stories and sacrifices of the "Greatest Generation". She was a Director of the non-profit Steven Stoli Foundation.

In marrying Frank, Flo joined the Italian and Lebanese communities of San Antonio. Her mother-in-law's parents came from Italy via Ellis Island, and her father-in-law came from Lebanon. Flo enjoyed the extended family relationships and reunions with her in-laws, including Frank's surviving siblings: Al (and wife Louise) Jowdy of Houston; Marianne Willis, and Virgie (and husband Frank) Pantuso, of San Antonio.

Flo is survived by her daughter Marilyn Jowdy of San Antonio; her son Frank Jowdy and his wife Joy of Florida; her grandsons Josh Jowdy of Florida and Capt. Dan Jowdy of Georgia. She will also be missed by her many wonderful friends.

The family wishes to thank Eartha for her wonderful personal care and friendship and Barbara and the staff at the Inn at Los Patios as well as Joe and Ramona and their children in Stone Oak. Flo declared she hadn't felt better in years than when with them. She looked forward to her monthly trips to lunch with Fred in his "Little Red Truck".

Her final short stay at Sam's Pipestone Assisted Living with Embrace Hospice made her life peaceful and we are grateful.

Spanning nearly a century, she lived her life with grace and dignity, in service to her country, on stage with her audience, and as wife, mom, and grandma for her family. She credited her longevity to her care received at BAMC (San Antonio Military Medical Center).

Flo was video interviewed for the WWII Veterans Oral History Collection of the Nimitz Education and Research Center, of the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX. For a copy of the DVD, contact the museum archivist at 830-997-8600 ext 262.

We have lost a true Patriot, a real American.

Visitation will be Thursday, March 8, at 6:00 pm at Porter Loring, McCullough Ave., followed by a Rosary Service at 7:00 pm in the chapel at Porter Loring.

Funeral Mass will be Friday, March 9 at 9:15 am at St Pius X Catholic Church, 3907 Harry Wurzbach Rd, followed by internment with Military Honors at 10:30 at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. Pallbearers include her son; grandsons; and nephews Jeff Jowdy of Dallas, Rob Day and Randy Day of Arizona.

Memorial Masses, Intentions and Prayers for Florence Jowdy would be greatly appreciated by the family.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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