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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Obituary: Kurtz, John E.

Age 80

John E.

John was the son of Ray and Marie (Eustis) Kurtz of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

Following graduation from Fort Atkinson High School, he served on a submarine in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War.

He earned a Master of Wildlife Management at the University of Michigan followed by a career with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service serving on Horicon, Mark Twain, Crab Orchard, Kenai and Umatilla National Wildlife Refuges and then in Phoenix and Anchorage area offices supervising refuges in Arizona and New Mexico and then in the north half of Alaska.
John met his wife, Susan, at the University of Michigan Biological Station.

They were married in 1962 and raised five children.

He loved his family and the natural world, camping in and exploring each area where they lived.

He was a craftsman and a handyman renovating and maintaining homes and boats, building shops, and running a small farm.

He kept a “life list” of birds and was an avid hunter and fisherman.

He volunteered with community organizations including Boy Scouts, 4-H, and Environmental Education, and served on the school board in Hermiston, Oregon.

In retirement, John started a custom woodworking business specializing in games, puzzles, toys and furniture.

He enjoyed traveling and volunteered several winters at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona.

He lived the last twelve years of his life in Nine Mile Falls.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Susan (Andrews) Kurtz, and his children, Martha Kurtz Shissler (Dan), Peter Kurtz (Marilu), Kathryn Kurtz, Daniel Kurtz (Jill), David Kurtz (Kathryn), and 17 grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy.