Susanne Sue Lynas Moulton, 95, died on November 19, 2012 at Croasdaile Village in Durham, NC. She was born on February 8, 1917 in Glasgow, Scotland to James and Agnes Martin Lynas.
She immigrated to the United States when she was ten years old, and the family moved to Norwich, CT. Although she was always proud of her Scottish roots, she immediately embraced her new country. During her first month in the US, she read about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving and gave her mother strict instructions about how the holiday should be celebrated. Thanksgiving became her favorite holiday, and she always set her table with all the traditional dishes, topping it off with her famous pumpkin pie—and lots of whipped cream.
She was a graduate of Norwich Free Academy and William Backus School of Nursing. She considered nursing to be more than just a profession; to her it was a calling. As a young Registered Nurse, she moved to New York City where she worked at Bellevue Hospital and later as a public health nurse in Harlem where she met many of the jazz and literary greats from the Harlem Renaissance. She also took classes at New York University and collaborated on a series of research studies that later were used by Jonas Salk in his work on the development of the polio vaccine.
She enlisted in the US Army during WWII and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Nurse Corps. She served in a medical evacuation unit that was on the front lines in North Africa. It was during this time that she met a young officer from Illinois, John Moulton, who later became her husband. Their unit was sent to Italy, and on December 26, 1944 they were married by the Archbishop of Lucca, Italy.
After the war, they moved to New York City where John went to graduate school at Columbia University for a Master’s in hospital administration. They later relocated to Durham, NC when her husband took a job with Watts Hospital. She returned to school using her GI bill benefits and received her BSN in nursing education from Duke University. John worked for many years as the CEO of Watts Hospital now Durham Regional.
As a young wife and mother, she could always be counted on as a school grade mother and as a Girl Scout leader. With her public health experience, she was often asked to teach the “facts of life” classes in the local schools, and she was one of the people called upon to head up the immunization effort in Durham when the “sugar cube” polio vaccination was introduced.
In 1971, the Moultons moved to Fayetteville, NC when John became CEO of the Cumberland County Hospital System and its three hospitals. After retirement, they lived in Chapel Hill for many years.
She was predeceased by her husband of 67 years who died in March and her five sisters and three brothers. She is survived by her four daughters: Jean Gaugh Jon of Kentucky; Lynn Wright Thomas of Georgia; Sandy Moulton Thomas Wong of Durham and Pam Moulton of Alaska. She also is survived by six granddaughters, five great granddaughters and two great grandsons.
A private Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a memorial contribution are asked to consider contributing to a scholarship at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. Contributions can be made to the Public Health Foundation attn: Moulton Graduate Scholarship, PO Box 899, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0899.
The Moulton family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online condolences, www.hallwynne.com, select Obituaries.