A 102-year-old WWII vet, BYU fan flips game coin at Veterans Day game
Nov 11, 2023, 9:48 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2023, 9:36 am
Editor’s note: videos should be courtesy of Susi Kjar Mabey and the last video clip is courtesy of BYU.
PROVO — A 102-year-old World War II veteran, who happens to be one of BYU’s biggest fans, was given the opportunity to flip the game coin during Saturday’s Veterans Day home game.
Noma Kjar has been living at the William E. Christofferson Veterans Home in Salt Lake City for the last seven years. This year, the home’s management started a program called Heart’s Desire, where the staff grants a “desire” of sorts for residents.
The home’s administrator Noralynn Snow said she immediately thought of Kjar and her love of BYU when creating the program. The home was able to send Kjar and her family in style via limousine to LaVell Edwards Stadium where the Cougars honored her during the coin toss.
Kjar joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1942. “We were losing the war, and we needed more soldiers,” she said.
Kjar said she wanted to join to help “win the war” and joined as soon as they opened recruitment for women.
She ultimately became a first lieutenant, stationed in Stockton, California.
“I was the officer in charge of the recruiting station,” Kjar said.
Despite being a University of Utah graduate, Kjar is a big BYU fan. After the war she married Joesph Kjar, former general manager of KSL. His role consisted of finding sponsors for expanding BYU football and basketball programs, according to the Kjar family.
“They couldn’t find a sponsor because they weren’t winning,” she said.
LaVell Edwards was hired shortly after.
“We started winning oh my golly! We’d go down and cheer for BYU ‘please win so we can get a stadium’,” she added.
Kjar and her husband Joesph lived to see BYU’s small stadium grow to what is it now which grew her love and appreciation for the team. For years, Kjar and her family would sit right at the 50 yard line.
All five of her kids attended BYU as did many of her grandchildren.
Surrounded by her family, Kjar rode to the stadium she knows and loves thanks to her veterans home. “I hope to be around next season, when BYU wins the conference,” she said.