Rebecca Feldsher Notterman, MD, FAAP died peacefully on Saturday February 11, 2023, in the home in which she had lived for the past 90 years. Wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and pediatrician to four generations of central New Jersey families, Dr. Notterman moved with her parents and sisters Jeanette and Esther to a farm (Highview Manor) in East Windsor Township in 1933. Following her graduation from Hightstown High School, Becky (or Rae, as she was called by family and childhood friends), attended college at New York University and nursing school at Bellevue School of Nursing. After receiving her BSN, she decided to prepare for medical school, ultimately matriculating at NYU School of Medicine—one of three women in her class—and receiving the Doctor of Medicine in 1953. After completing her training in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital and a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics at New York Hospital—Cornell Medical College, Dr. Notterman returned in 1955 to the Hightstown area to establish a private practice in pediatrics. One of first women to practice pediatrics in Mercer County, she continued in the practice until 2012, when she retired after serving the children and families of New Jersey for 57 years, encompassing four generations of children. She came into pediatrics at a time that housecalls were a daily feature of medical practice, and she entered the homes of the poor and the wealthy, the long-established and the recently immigrated, those of all races and ethnicities, without distinction and often, without payment other than the relief of the parents and a hug from the child. She was a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Cornell Medical College until her retirement, contributing to the education of hundreds of pediatricians, including many who continue to serve locally and at Rutgers—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Becky and her husband Joseph (who died in 2013) moved back to her beloved farm in 1956, populating it with animals of every type (from horses to llamas and rabbits to peacocks). They created a homestead and grounds of uncommon beauty and joyfully shared what they had created with their large group of friends from Hightstown (including Troop C), Princeton, and the world.
The farm, now named Abe’s Acres after Rebecca’s father, is still operated by her grandson, Gabriel. In addition, Rebecca is survived by her children, Daniel, a pediatrician and professor at Princeton University, Abby, an attorney and bioethicist; her grandchildren, Arielle, a teacher and curriculum consultant; Benjamin, a civil rights attorney; and Sophia, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology; and by her great-grandson, Jonas, the fourth generation to have lived at family homestead.