Sue Sarafian Jehl – Lieutenant, United States Army Secretary to General Dwight Eisenhower Military Wife

From a contemporary press report: April 1997:

Sue Sarafian Jehl, a Highland Park native who served as a secretary for Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower during World War II, died Sunday, April 13, 1997, in her Maitland, Florida, home She was 77.

Eisenhower dictated his account of the war, Crusade in Europe, to Mrs. Jehl. After graduating from Highland Park High School in 1942, Mrs. Jehl joined the army as a Women’s Army Corps (WAC) officer. By chance, she was eventually assigned to Eisenhower’s staff. In a 1993 interview with The Detroit News, Mrs. Jehl said she initially turned down the assignment to work for Eisenhower. But friends and other officers convinced her that history had handed her a rare but demanding opportunity. She said Eisenhower wanted to prove to doubters that women could make efficient officers and held WACs, especially those on his staff, to high standards and long hours.

Mrs. Jehl served as one of Eisenhower’s primary secretaries starting in 1943 in locations from Algiers to England to France. After the war, she worked for Eisenhower as he wrote his memoirs. His habit was to dictate passages aloud to Jehl.

She retired as a lieutenant in 1947 to raise a family. She married Roland Jehl in 1946, an Air Force pilot who transported the top German officers to France to surrender. Besides her husband, Mrs. Jehl is survived by a daughter, Patricia J. Lamb; two sons, Roland R. Jr. and Lawrence; four grandsons; and three sisters.

Mrs. Jehl will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc., Department 560, Washington, D.C.

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