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Pitt researcher took creative approach to problems

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OBIT, obits, Obituary: Kim Sutton-Tyrrell

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By Jerry Vondas
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Dr. Kim Sutton-Tyrrell was regarded as a pioneer in cardiovascular health research at the University of Pittsburgh.

As an epidemiologist, Dr. Sutton-Tyrrell was a meticulous yet creative researcher who enjoyed scientific discovery, said Dr. Anne Newman, chair of the school's department of epidemiology.

Dr. Kim Sutton-Tyrrell of Upper St. Clair, professor and vice chair for academics in the graduate school of public health's epidemiology department, died of cancer on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, in the Center for Compassionate Care in Mt. Lebanon. She was 54.

“Kim was also a woman dedicated to several charitable organizations,” said her husband, Mark Tyrrell. “Kim was creative, especially with jewelry.”

She operated her own company, KST Creations, and donated her profits to the Evelyn Wei Scholarship Foundation, named after Pitt researcher Evelyn Wei, who died in an automobile accident, Tyrrell said. She supported the food bank at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, where she was a member.

Born in South Park and raised in Mt. Lebanon, Kim Sutton was one of four children of Jean Harrison Sutton and the late Harry Sutton.

In 1976, after graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School — where she was an active member of the school's dance team and pep squad — she went on to receive her bachelor's degree in nursing from Penn State University and her doctoral degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh. She married in 1987.

“What impressed me during the early days of our marriage, and continued, was her availability to her family, her patients and her colleagues,” Tyrrell said. “The questions she would ask when confronted with a problem would be what was possible and what can be done.”

In addition to her husband, Dr. Sutton-Tyrrell is survived by her children, Andy and Katie.

A public memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, 3319 W. Liberty Ave. Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or

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