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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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HOLMBERG, Rita. (Dubuque, IA, Jan. 22, 1918-- ). A graduate of Clarke College (late CLARKE UNIVERSITY), in 1942 with a degree in food and nutrition with an emphasis in hospital dietetics, Holmberg was hired by John Hopkins University in Baltimore. She was the first Clarke student accepted there.

After a few years at the university, Holmberg followed her interest in writing. She entered the business world working for Armour and Company and Peavey Company before becoming the food editor of Better Homes and Gardens. In an active professional life, she also wrote for Woman's Day, Family Circle and Bon Appetit in addition to composing poetry and crafting short stories. She worked in research kitchens, product and recipe development, and food photography enjoying the planning and preparation.

She returned to Dubuque in 1975 to care for her father.

In 2016, Holmberg wrote By Fives to Ninety-five, as a tribute encouraging everyone to remember those who helped them.



Frenzel, Anthony. "Captured in Words," Telegraph Herald, March 10, 2016, p. 8A