Elizabeth D. Mutch, 88, former nurse

Posted: August 18, 2013

Elizabeth Dunn Mutch, 88, a former nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital, died Thursday, Aug. 15, at her home in Buck Hill Falls, Pa., after a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure.

Mrs. Mutch, the oldest of three children, was born to a Quaker family in Palmyra in 1925. A gifted child, she graduated from the George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, Pa., at the age of 16 in 1935.

After graduating from George School, she studied for a nursing degree, first at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., and later at the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York.

While working as a nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital, Mrs. Mutch and another physician helped open the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Her profession ultimately led Mrs. Mutch to her husband, Dr. John C. Mutch, who was a physician in residence.

"They met over an incubator," said her daughter, Julia Marie Mutch.

Before Dr. Mutch departed to serve in Korean War, the two were married in San Antonio, Texas, in 1952, and went on a honeymoon to San Francisco.

Mrs. Mutch remained a nurse until 1955, when she quit to raise her five children in Moorestown. Her daughter said Mrs. Mutch often talked about her job at home.

Mrs. Mutch was a "nurturing" nurse, her daughter said, recalling one of her mother's stories about caring for a small infant affectionately nicknamed "Peanut" during his hospital stay.

After settling in Moorestown, the family also bought a house in Buck Hill Falls, where the family would spend summer months.

As a mother, Mrs. Mutch was "very gentle" and allowed for "a lot of free expression" from her children, he daughter said. She even let one of her children bring home a skunk that ended up staying in the house as a pet for a decade.

As her children grew older, Mrs. Mutch took up a second career as a real estate broker with Stockwell-Knight Co.

She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 20 years ago, but her health started to vastly deteriorate in the last six months.

Besides her daughter Julia, Mrs. Mutch is survived by daughter Deborah Olander; sons John, James and Andrew, brother Howard Dunn; and 10 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at the Moorestown Monthly Meeting, 118 E. Main St., Moorestown, N.J. 08057. Internment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Moorestown Monthly Meeting. Condolences may be left at lewisfuneralhomemoorestown.com.

Contact Sean Carlin at 856-779-3237, scarlin@philly.com, or follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.

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