On Thursday, November 8, 2012. Eliese S. Cutler died peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Beloved wife of the late Dr. John C. Cutler; mother of Dr. Stuart D. Strahl (Melissa); grandmother of Linda Strahl, Danielle Strahl-Heldreth (Jason) and Margaret Strahl; sister of the late William Egbert Strahl; aunt of the late Eric R. Olds. Mrs. Cutler grew up on the shores of Long Island Sound in New Rochelle, New York, where she nurtured an unquenchable spirit for adventure and humanitarian causes. Graduating from Wellesley College in 1939, Eliese married Dr. John Charles Cutler in 1942. She worked tirelessly in support of John's pioneering research with the United States Public Health Service, World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization, serving throughout the United States, Latin America, India, Afghanistan and elsewhere. As John later stated, Eliese was "an un-paid, full-time (and over-time) volunteer, able to provide the skills which are all-too-often either non-existent in local areas or unpurchasable because of the budgetary limitations of public service." Her work with John ranged from expedition manager for a field team of 30 people working in primitive conditions, through clinical photographer, chief record clerk and/or clinic manager in locales including remote Indian villages, major hospitals and big-city slums. After John retired from the Public Health Service, the Cutlers relocated to Pittsburgh in the mid-1960s. Since then, Eliese has been a tireless volunteer in the community, serving on numerous philanthropic Boards including the Visiting Nurses Association, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania to name a few. For decades, she provided charitable support to over 100 not-for-profit organizations on an annual basis. Not surprisingly, Eliese will be well-remembered to her friends and colleagues as a philanthropist and community organizer, winning the prestigious Volunteer in the Arts (VITA) award as well as recognition from the Allegheny County Health Department, US Public Health Service and many others. Friends will be received at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC., 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street (www. freyvogelfuneralhome.com) on Friday, November 16 from 4 - 7 p.m. and one hour prior to a Celebration of Eliese's Life on Saturday November 17 at 1 p.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Planned Parenthood of Western PA, 933 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, where Eliese served on the Board for over four decades.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Nov. 11 to Nov. 16, 2012.