Joseph G. Lahoda, 87, N.J. obstetrician

Joseph G. Lahoda
Joseph G. Lahoda
Posted: July 12, 2013

Joseph Lahoda grew up poor during the Depression on a Susquehanna County, Pa., farm, and his summer work on roads wasn't enough to pay for college.

So after he served in the postwar military in the 1940s, he used the GI Bill to help pay for college and medical school bills.

That still wasn't enough.

So he rejoined the military for several years to complete his medical education on the way to becoming a civilian physician.

On Sunday, July 7, Joseph G. Lahoda, 87, of Cinnaminson, a South Jersey obstetrician and gynecologist from 1964 to his retirement in 1997, died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center of complications from a neurological disease.

"He often said it was a happy specialty," son Mark said Wednesday.

Some medical work can involve considerable patient suffering, Mark Lahoda said, but ob-gyn work "was something he found very rewarding from an emotional standpoint."

Born in Thompson, Dr. Lahoda was president of his class of 1944 at Preston High School in Lakewood.

His high school yearbook noted that he was "outstanding in basketball" and was on the baseball team for three years, his son said.

From December 1945 to May 1947, he was a flight traffic clerk at an Army Air Forces base in Westover, Mass., and a crew member on transport aircraft, his discharge document shows.

Dr. Lahoda earned a bachelor's in biology at the University of Scranton in 1951, graduated from the medical school of Georgetown University in 1955, and served a year's internship in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In 1957, his son said, Dr. Lahoda returned to the military, attending the Army Medical Service School in San Antonio and becoming a general medical officer with the rank of captain at Brooke Army Medical Hospital there.

That experience allowed him to complete his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in 1960.

To repay the government, his son said, Dr. Lahoda, with the rank of major, was from 1960 into 1963 the chief of the ob-gyn department at an Army hospital in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and into 1964 headed a similar department at an Army hospital at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Dr. Lahoda began his civilian career in 1964 in a medical partnership, his son said, but for the most part maintained a solo practice, with offices in Cinnaminson and Willingboro.

He was on the staffs at hospitals in South Jersey and Bucks County.

Besides his son, Dr. Lahoda is survived by his wife of 57 years, Charlotte; sons Joseph and Eric; two brothers; and seven grandchildren.

Visitation was set from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at Snover/Givnish of Cinnaminson, 1200 Route 130 N., before a Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 2500 Branch Pike, Cinnaminson, N.J. 08077. Burial will be private.

Donations may be made to the church.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

Contact Walter F. Naedele at 610-313-8134, or follow on Twitter @WNaedele.

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