Funeral Services For Dr. Hutter

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Dr. Robert V.P. Hutter of West Orange, a Livingston resident for 42 years, died July 2, at the age of 85 after suffering Alzheimer's disease for several years. He died about a month before his 59th wedding anniversary. The funeral was held on July 6 at the Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel in Livingston. As a former chairman of the Department of Pathology at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, beginning his tenure in 1973, Dr. Hutter became the first New Jerseyan to serve as the national president of the American Cancer Society, and he helped to spearhead the ACS's first nutrition guidelines that emphasized a low-fat, high fiber diet. Dr. Hutter practiced what he preached, sticking to a rigid diet and exercise regimen, squeezing in time in his hectic schedule for long distance running through the streets of Livingston before the sun rose and weight lifting in the afternoons. He convinced the ACS to switch the name fibrocystic disease to fibrocystic changes, which had significance beyond semantics. The change ameliorated the worries of many women who thought they harbored an illness but learned that they had naturally occurring changes in breast tissue. Dr. Hutter was passionate about finding early cancers and preventing deadly tumors. He shaped cancer prevention strategies nationally and internationally and promoted a new system for staging cancer. In 1981, he was named "Physician of the Year" by the New Jersey Division of the American Cancer Society and ten years later, in 1991, was awarded the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award. Born in Yonkers, New York, Dr. Hutter attended Syracuse University on scholarship and played football for Coach F. Ben Schwartzwalder, who finagled a way for Dr. Hutter to become an assistant coach while still an undergraduate so he could maintain his scholarship after injuries cut short his playing career. When Dr. Hutter started medical school at Syracuse Medical School (now called State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse), he tried to continue coaching football but was made to choose football or medicine. He did his residency at Yale University, where he was an American Heart Association Research Fellow. He completed his residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where he was chief resident in pathology and an American Cancer Society clinical fellow. He then served two years of active duty in the Navy, returned to Memorial, then to Yale, and became a tenured professor of pathology at the age of 39. In 1969, Dr. Hutter was awarded an M.A. from Yale University. In 1970, he served for three years as chairman of pathology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and subsequently moved to St. Barnabas. Among his many leadership roles, Dr. Hutter served as president of the Surgical Oncology Society, the only non-surgeon to hold that position. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; son, Andrew (Barbara); daughters Randi (Stuart) and Edie, and ten grandchildren. Donations in his memory can be made to the Department of Pathology, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, N.J.; The Alzheimer's Association of New Jersey, or SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse.
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