Vesna Sutija

Rođena:01.01.1939. (Prelog, Hrvatska)

Preminula:14.05.2023. (New York, Sjedinjene Američke Države)

Dob: 84


4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

John Krtil Funeral Home; Yorkville Funeral Service, Inc. - New York



Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church

Vesna was born in Prelog, the daughter of Dr. Alexander Grudzinski, a medical doctor, and his wife Mathilde nee Vindis. She grew up in Varazdin, where her father was head of the local children's clinic, and was an accomplished athlete, winning third place in high jump at the 1956 Croatian Junior championships.

Together with her parents and sister, Vesna emigrated to the US in August 1958. She matriculated at NYU and finished her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English in 1962, the same year that she married and gave birth to her son, Davor. She started graduate work in Psychology, but had a five year hiatus in Venezuela and Chile, where her husband George Sutija worked for the Ford Foundation. In Venezuela, she did research with Gunnar Svaetichin, working on intercellular recordings from retinal neurons.

On returning to the US, she completed her PhD at NYU in 1975, and continued working in neurophysiology during three post- doctoral fellowships, at Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute, the University of Miami, and at Hunter College. In 1984, Dr. Sutija was appointed Assistant Research Professor at SUNY College of Optometry and promoted to a tenure- track position in 1988. Her passion was always vision research and the joy of teaching students and imbuing them with her love of the subject.

After SUNY, she was Director of Research at New Jersey Medical Center, and at Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, with joint appointments in Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Vesna had a keen interest in literature and theatre, regularly attending the 92NY's Poetry Center and Lincoln Center, and was a published poet and the author of a novel, Costly Illusions.

She sang in the University of Miami choral ensemble, appearing with the choir at Carnegie Hall. She loved being with her friends, family, and co-workers, and held dinner parties which combined Croatian food with stimulating intellectual discussions. She is survived by son Davor Sutija, daughter-in-law Unni Byrkjeland, sister Tanya Bruck, niece Natasha Bruck, and grandchildren, Karina, Astrid, and Henrik Sutija.

FOTO: Private

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