Dr. Robert V.P. Hutter, 85, of West Orange died July 2, 2014. He was born in Yonkers, NY.
An internationally renowned pathologist, Dr. Hutter was a former chairman of the department of pathology at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, beginning his tenure in 1973. In 1982, he became the first New Jerseyan to serve as the national president of the American Cancer Society and helped to spearhead the ACS’s first nutrition guidelines that emphasized a low-fat, high-fiber diet.
He single-handedly convinced the ACS to switch the name fibrocystic disease to fibrocystic changes, ameliorating the worries of many women who thought they harbored an illness and now understood that they had naturally occurring changes in breast tissue. He 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.
He became a tenured professor of pathology at the age of 39 at 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, he served as president of the Surgical Oncology Society, and was the only non-surgeon to hold that position. In 1981, he was named Physician of the Year by the New Jersey Division of the American Cancer Society and 10 years later, in 1991, was awarded the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award.
He attended Syracuse University on scholarship and played football for Coach F. Ben Schwartzwalder. He graduated from Syracuse Medical School (now State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse), and did a residency at Yale, where he was an American Heart Association Research Fellow and later earned an MA.
He completed his residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was Chief Resident in Pathology and an American Cancer Society Clinical Fellow.
He served two years of active duty in the Navy.
He is survived by his wife of almost 59 years, Ruth (Lauterbach); his son, Andrew (Barbara); two daughters, Randi (Stuart) Hutter Epstein and Edie; and 10 grandchildren.
Services were held July 6 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.