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Samuel Y. C​utler, 92, Longtime Optometrist

March 29, 2007
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Dr. Samuel Yale Cutler, 92, a longtime optometrist, died March 14 at Abington Hospital Hospice. He was a resident of Elkins Park.

A graduate of Gratz College, Temple University and the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry, Cutler's South Philadelphia optometric office included a wholesale optical laboratory. He also established the Yale Optical Co. for the selling and purchasing of optical equipment.

While he studied, he worked as secretary to the ladies auxiliary of the First Fastover Beneficial Association; as a teacher in Hebrew school; as a news reporter for the Jewish daily The Day (Der Tug); and as a salesman of ophthalmic and optometric equipment. He was a member of the Jewish Youth organization Gordonia, secretary of the Temple University Jewish Students Association and president of the Jewish Students Association at the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry.

Inducted in the U.S. Army in 1942, his service included repair and maintenance of optical fire-control instruments. He was also selected for the Army Special Training Program at Vanderbilt University in foreign languages and civil government. Cutler served as the NCO in charge of the Station Hospital's Eye Clinic at Camp Richie, Maryland, for two years, where he also attended military intelligence school.

In 1995, he was one of 110 U.S. Army Optometrists selected to receive the Army's distinguished Member of the Army Medical Department Regiment Award for service during World War II.

Cutler served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Optometrical Examiners, was president, secretary and historian of the Greater Philadelphia Optometric Association, and secretary of the Pennsylvania Association of Licensed Optometrists and the Philadelphia County Optometric Society.

He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Dispensing Opticians, the Optical Heritage Society and a lifetime member of the American Optometric Association.

Cutler's civic, charitable and social activities included chairman of the building committee of the Downtown Jewish Home for the Aged; board chairman and trustee of Rabbi Isaacson's Talmud Torahs of South Philadelphia; chairman of First Aid and Water Safety, and Accident Prevention, of the South Philadelphia branch of the American Red Cross; first vice president of the First Ward Civic Association; and a member of the South Philadelphia Post #98 Jewish War Veterans.

In addition, he was a member of the Equity Lodge of the Free & Accepted Masons, a Shriner of the Lulu Temple, the 21 Square Jewel Club, the Sholom Aleichem Club, B'nai B'rith and Congregation Beth Sholom, among others.

Cutler is survived by daughter Harriet B. Cutler, and many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and great-grandnieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Dr. Miriam Horen.

Memorial contributions can be made to: the Delaware Valley Association of Macular Diseases, Jenkintown Commons, York and Wyncote Roads, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

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