She was born March 1, 1930, in Great Bend, Kan., one of five children and the first daughter of Frank William and Mary Victoria (Schneider) Bahr. She was baptized Mildred, and attended St. Ann Elementary and High School in Olmitz.
Education was so important to the Bahrs that they rented a house across from school so their children, cousins, and neighbors wouldn’t miss school in severe weather. Mildred’s mother took her turn staying in town to care for the children.
After high school, she accepted the invitation of her chemistry teacher, Sr. Gertrude Bauman, to consider becoming an Adorer. In August 1948, she entered the Adorers in Wichita, Kan. Sr. Rose Therese professed her first vows on July 1, 1950, and her final vows on July 1, 1955.
She taught the first and second grades at St. Joseph’s School in Ellinwood, Kan., before beginning her education in nursing. She earned her nursing diploma in 1954. Her first assignment was at St. Francis Hospital in Carlsbad, N.M.
She later earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing education administration, both at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a doctorate in higher education at Saint Louis University. She was the academic dean and professor at Newman University and professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas and at The Catholic University of America.
During her academic career, she established a master’s degree in gerontological nursing and wrote books including “Aging: A Holistic Perspective,” published articles in professional nursing magazines, and presented workshops, conferences, and institutes. She was also a member of the Wichita Province leadership Team from 1992 to 1996.
Upon retirement in 2001, she wrote grants and raised funds for several Wichita social service agencies. She served four terms on the Newman University Board of Trustees and served on the board of eight other agencies.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her brothers Herman, Vernon, and Frank, and her sister Francia, an Adorer. She is survived by nieces and nephews; cousins, including ASC Sisters Francella, Jeannine, Mary Ann, Teresa, and Philomena Bahr; and her ASC community.