Donald R Kurtz Sr.
Nov. 11, 1936 – Dec. 24, 2020
TOPEKA — Donald R Kurtz Sr., Osage City, died Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, from COVID related complications. He was 85.
He was born Nov. 11, 1936, in Irving, the son of John and Orpha Tryon- Kurtz.
Don enlisted in the Navy National Guard in 1957, and later joined the regular Navy. He trained as an electrician, working at various stations and on many tugboats and ships. He served on the Naval Auxiliary Air Station (Kingston, Texas), USS Essex, USS Wasp, USS Newport News, USS Uvalde, Naval Station (Norfolk, Va.), USS Atakapa, USS Grand Canyon and fleet maintenance assistance group (Mayport. Fla.).
During his tour of duty, he received a National Defense Service medal, Good Conduct medal (three awards), and Armed Forces Expeditionary medal. Don retired from the Navy in 1983. He continued to work as an electrician and on small appliances until his death.
Don married Marie Kuehl in 1956. They had seven children, Don Kurtz, Jr. (Elaine), Louisville, Tamar Haller (Ronald), Home, Alice Hinnen (Rick), Hutchinson, Alan Kurtz (Julie), Sherman Texas, Lana Heideman (Keith), Wamego, and Gene Kurtz (Linda), and Jerry Kurtz, both of Hutchinson. They later divorced.
He married Leila Franklin in 1968, and they had a son, John Kurtz (Tina), Richmond, Va. They later divorced. He married Judy Stegman in 1984. They adopted two children, Amber and Wesley Kurtz. They later divorced. Don shared his remaining years with his friend and partner, Linda Merz who died Dec. 25, 2020, from COVID related complications at Stormont Vail hospital, Topeka.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, John Jr., Hank, Dale and Larry Kurtz, and a sister, Charlotte Jeffries.
He is survived by a sister, Jan Brown (Leroy), Carbondale; his children; 20 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and 25 great-great-grandchildren.
Don had many adventures with Linda, traveling to visit family and friends, garage sales, making wine and caring for their yard and home. He enjoyed playing in jam sessions with a local Osage City group, fishing, fishing, and fishing. His unique personality and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 29, 2021, at Neuchatel.