Madison - Dorothy Jutton Pringle, a University of Wisconsin-Madison nutritional sciences professor and a pioneer of independent dietetic practice, died on Monday, Oct. 3 at Oakwood Village University Woods. She was 97 years old.
Born in Evanston, Ill., Dorothy was the youngest of three daughters of Lee Jutton, a civil engineer, and Mary Busey Jutton, an opera singer. She grew up on the north side of Milwaukee and in the adjacent suburb of Shorewood, where she graduated from Shorewood High School in 1936.
She attended the University of Illinois in Urbana and Champaign, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in home economics, majoring in foods and nutrition, in 1940, and then did a one-year internship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Dorothy began her career as a dietitian at Cleveland City Hospital in Ohio. She later joined St. Luke's Hospital on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, where she counseled patients on special diets.
She was one of the first dietitians in the country to enter private practice when she became an independent diet consultant in Chicago around 1947. She counseled patients who were prescribed special diets by their physicians, helping them plan meals that accommodated their food preferences.
Dorothy began graduate study in 1949 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in food and nutrition and serving as an instructor after earning her master's degree in 1951. She began her doctoral studies at Wisconsin in 1953, majoring in nutrition and biochemistry with a minor in medical physiology. Her advisors were Helen Parsons, who did early research on vitamin B, and Conrad Elvehjem, who identified niacin and later became the university's president.
After earning her Ph. D. degree in 1956, Dorothy joined the university's food and nutrition faculty and worked with colleagues to strengthen collaborations between the fields of biochemistry and nutritional science.
Much of her research looked at social and economic influences on food habits and nutrition quality among minority families, including African Americans in Milwaukee, Native Americans in northern Wisconsin and children in Colombia and Nicaragua. Other work included a study demonstrating that weight loss programs can be more effective if people have smaller but more frequent meals. Her studies of sugar metabolism in obese rats had implications for understanding diabetes in obese people.
In 1961, Dorothy married John Donaldson Pringle, a Madison-based wholesale hardware salesman and University of Illinois alumnus who headed a local alumni association chapter. They lived on Monroe Street on the near west side of Madison.
After retiring from the university in 1985, Dorothy volunteered at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and delivered lunches for the Madison Meals on Wheels program.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, her sisters Lela Jutton Blesch and Mary Jutton Murphy of Milwaukee, nephews Richard Murphy of Madison and Robert Murphy of Milwaukee, and stepson John Pringle III of Baraboo. She is survived by a niece, Dorothy Murphy of Waukesha; a nephew, Carl Blesch, and his wife Anne of Bedminster, N.J.; her late nephew Richard's wife, Paula Sherman of Madison; and a stepdaughter, Allison Seaton, and her husband James of Lodi. She is also survived by five great nieces and nephews and three step-grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 12:30 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 1:00 p.m., in the Resurrection Chapel at Oakwood Village University Woods, 6205 Mineral Point Road in Madison. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Cress Funeral and Cremation Service.
The family thanks the staff of Oakwood Village and Agrace Hospice Care for their compassionate care.
The family suggests memorial donations to the University of Wisconsin Foundation, directed to the Dorothy J. Pringle Nutritional Sciences Fund. Checks may be sent to: UW Foundation, U. S. Bank Lockbox, Box 78807, Milwaukee, Wis. 53278-0807.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison