Dr. Mona Reidenberg Sutnick, 79, of Center City, died Oct. 25 of complications from dementia. Dr. Sutnick was an award-winning nutrition educator and author of the book
Nutrition and Women's Health
Though she was born in Philadelphia in 1936, she spent her childhood in a variety of locations, thanks to her father's job as a Navy doctor during WWII.
"She used to say that she must have attended six different schools before the sixth grade," said her husband, Dr. Alton Sutnick. Nonetheless, in 1957, she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in chemistry.
Her first job out of college brought her to Indianapolis, where she met her future husband. Within a year they would be married, on the only Sunday that he had free between basic training and his deployment.
The couple moved to Paris, where she spent the early part of her career as a protein chemist at the Pasteur Institute. After two years in France, she and her husband, a medical doctor, returned to Indianapolis where, In 1961, their daughter Amy was born.
In Philadelphia, the Sutnicks had their second child, Gary, in 1965, the year she received a master's degree in nutrition from what is now called Drexel University. She taught at several Philadelphia universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Temple University.
Dr. Sutnick also appeared frequently on television and radio as a nutrition expert and wrote a long-running food and nutrition column in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Her goal was to get people to understand the principles and benefits of good nutrition, her husband recalled.
In 1981 she earned her doctorate in nutrition education from Temple University.
Outside of work, Dr. Sutnick was a leader in Philadelphia's Jewish community. She was the first woman to be elected president of the Society Hill Synagogue. She served as vice president of the Philadelphia chapters of the American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Along with her husband she received the AABGU Negev Award. At AJC, she brought young adults into their programs, often concentrating on improving interfaith and interethnic relations.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughter Amy Sutnick Plotch, son Gary Sutnick, and two grandchildren.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Mona and Alton Sutnick, Shirley and Stanley Tauber Senior Fellowship in Medical Education, American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 261 Old York Rd., Suite 417A, Box 1128, Jenkintown, Pa. 19046.