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Obituary for Rhonda Lehr

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Rhonda Lehr

May 19, 1946 - March 8, 2018

Too Young to Die, But My Time Anyway”


It is not possible to capture but a few snippets of a full but unfinished life. Ovarian cancer took me too soon from my cherished family and friends and a career that I loved. I hope that I will live on in the hearts and minds of those I have touched.


I grew up on the beaches of Brooklyn, a secular Jewish girl, who loved animals and nature. I moved from NYC to Albuquerque and had one marriage, one divorce, and two beautiful and charismatic daughters, Hope and Lara, and one grandchild, Alec. Doggedly working through some hard times, I began medical school while a single mom at 33, and began my psychiatric career in Ogden, UT in 1988. I was now a gentile in the land of Zion. A long list of accomplishments accrued. I was elected president of the following organizations: The Ogden Surgical Medical Society, Weber County Medical Society, and Utah Psychiatric Society. I was chief of psychiatry at McKay Dee Hospital for seven years, and trained family practice residents in psychiatry. I gave lectures to doctors, nurses and other health professionals on psychiatric issues. I represented my state to the U.S. Congress for psychiatric rights in Washington D.C. I earned the honor of being a life time distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. And, above all, I so loved the wonderful and creative art of psychotherapy with my patients. Seeing patients brought me joy, strength and love. A snapshot became a movie and I hope I helped to make their lifetime movie better.


In lieu of flowers, share stories with your loved ones, donate time, energy, money or thought to help our fragile planet with its dwindling life forms to recover from human excesses.


I am so sorry to leave.


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Timeline for Rhonda Lehr

Born: May 19, 1946
Died: March 8, 2018

Condolences for Rhonda Lehr

ROBERT ROTHMAN posted on 4/7/18



Andrea posted on 3/28/18

Thank you for helping me through the difficulties of life and investing in what felt like genuine friendship and not just a patient/dr. relationship. You and I didn't agree on many things including my finding great peace in my Christian faith, and yet we listened to and respected one another. Our conversations meant a great deal to me and I prayed for you often even before your cancer. My prayers didn't always leave me "warm and fuzzy" as you liked to say. But it's less about how I felt and all about knowing that they'd been heard and who was hearing them. You are very special to me. You made me feel special too. I believe you were the smartest, clever, most fun and gifted psychiatrist around. Your compassion and generosity still moves me and will remain with me. I miss you very much.


Sharon L. Smauldon posted on 3/21/18

Rhonda saved my life! I will forever cherish her kind gentle words and wonderful sense of humor and wisdom when it came to my emotional and mental wellbeing. I am so sorry for her journey on this earth coming to a road where she had to transcend on another journey not of this earth. Thank you Dr. Rhonda. I love you.


Erica posted on 3/17/18

Thank you for all that you did for me. I will cherish our friendship forever!! Love Always, Erica V.


Jock Glidden posted on 3/13/18

Such a letter as this surely is not for the benefit of the deceased as she is nowhere to read it. We both agree on that point. It's for my benefit. I had a Platonic affection for Rhonda and I'm not sure why. But one thing for sure, I do miss her. I think what it was, is her ability to be speaking one thing and simultaneously thinking three different other thoughts and not being able to stuff them into the sentence that she was saying. Wittgenstein would say this is not possible but Rhonda proved it otherwise. I usually learned something in Rhonda's company. For example, her eclectic collection of art in her house, or rather art gallery. That was a treat to visit. I wonder what will become of them all. Her exit was untimely and sad. I believe her saying she was sorry to leave.


Bonnie and Joe Anderson posted on 3/13/18

Dear Lara and Hope, I never thought Rhonda would leave my world. She was so strong and determined to the end. I will always remember her as diagnosing me as pathologically nice. It always makes me smile. I know Joe does not agree. Our love goes over to you, Hope and Lara. You both were supportive and loving. I know you were a close knit, unbreakable circle even though you didn't always see eye to eye-you stood shoulder to shoulder. Rhonda gave us a papermache girl holding an umbrella that floats on a string in front of our bedroom bookcase. We wake to it each morning swaying from some hidden source. It now has priceless meaning to us.


Ray Powell posted on 3/12/18

Thank you Rhonda for your friendship and support. You made a significant and positive difference in the lives you touched and the natural world you constantly celebrated. Every conversation started with a loving and proud update of the lives of those you cherished most - Hope, Lara, and Alec. Your laughter, profound intellect and healing kindness are celebrated by all of us that knew and loved you. Thank you Rhonda!


Betsy Kleczkowski posted on 3/12/18

Rhonda Lehr was my doctor for over a decade. I, as well as my husband Peter, became friends with Dr. Lehr and her assistant Shauna Riley. Dr. Lehr was a force of nature--tremendous energy and love of life. Nonetheless, she was infinitely patient in trying to prescribe the right medications for her patients. While I never met her daughters, she spoke of them often. We wish to offer our deepest sympathy to them--losing your Mother is a serious matter of the heart. God bless you, Dr. Lehr! I miss you already...


Michael Callaghan posted on 3/12/18

Hope and Lara- My deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. Sincerely, Michael Callaghan


Johnnie Cook MD posted on 3/11/18

Oh, Rhonda, how we'll miss you!!! You were my friend and great teacher. In residency, I learned much from you; not just of medicine and psychiatry but of kindness and dedication and really caring about patients and doing all you could to help them get better. I will miss your wit and charm and great knowledge. When we spoke last you questioned the afterlife. I will see you again, my friend! Johnnie Cook MD


Sheri Peterson posted on 3/11/18

My deepest sympathy and condolences to Rhonda’s family. My prayers are with you. Rhonda was such a thoughtful and beautiful person, inside and out. Sheri Peterson


Kathy Adams posted on 3/11/18

Just a few brief remembrances of Dr. Lehr. She was so unique with an adorable personality! She was incredibly brilliant and engaging as you spoke with her. She loved her daughters and spoke of them often. She had such love, kindness, compassion, and care for all of us that worked with her and for her patients. She cared for three different generations in my family and we loved the way she got to the bottom of the problem, gave advice, was a good listener, and expected people to move forward. She was beautiful! May she rest in peace!


joan zone posted on 3/11/18

Dear Hope and Lara My thoughts and heart are with you at the untimely death of your mom. I hope that the cherished memories you have of her will bring you joy, peace and comfort in the time ahead. I'm very sorry for the pain she suffered and her much too soon death. I admired her brilliance and wit. I would love to see you when you are in the area. 801-949-7235. Fondly, Joan Zone


Sue Bedard posted on 3/11/18

You made such a difference in my life. Your words of affirmation and encouragement still bring a smile to my heart and comfort in times of stress. Your grace is ongoing.


Grace Mercer posted on 3/11/18

You will be missed. Im glad I got the opportunity to work with you. I loved listening to your stories and what adventure you was going on next.


Kate Stewart posted on 3/11/18

I was so saddened when I learned of Rhonda's passing, she definitely impacted my life, although our interactions were brief. I can't believe I haven't seen or spoken to her in over 10 years because it seems like just yesterday when she told me she admired my resilience. I remember feeling so honored that she thought that about me, and I reflect on that statement every time I am faced with adversity. This is just one of the many gifts and memories she gave me. I was one of the lucky one's who had the pleasure of knowing her.


Linda Phillips posted on 3/10/18

My dear friend Rhonda, I will forever miss you. You walked (and carried) me through some of the most traumatic times of my life. I know if it were not for your knowledge and your determination to make me well, I wouldn’t be writing this tonight. I appreciated who you were; I think you could have been one of the first women’s libbers. I know you were so concerned about our planet. It took some time but I did decipher your license plate 0popgr. Love, Linda Phillips


Mike & Marie Neri posted on 3/10/18

My deepest condolences for the family of such a beautiful soul . May she Rest In Peace so sad .Rhonda was such a beautiful soul .