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Kurt Gerstle

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Kurt Gerstle Obituary
Kurt Gerstle, of Boulder, Colorado, passed away on February 20, 2013 at the age of 89. Born on November 11, 1923 in Munich, Germany to Siegfried and Berta Gerstle, Kurt moved with his family to San Francisco when he was 14. Following high school graduation and two years as an engineering draftsman, Kurt was drafted into the US Army, receiving the Bronze Star for his service in the Battle of the Bulge. Upon returning to San Francisco, he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. After subsequent studies at the Swiss Federal Technical Institute in Zurich in 1949, Kurt returned to San Francisco, and married Eva Holland-Cunz in 1951. In 1952, they moved to Boulder, where Kurt joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, and received the first Ph.D. in Civil Engineering awarded by CU. During his 40 year career at CU, Kurt received several awards for his teaching and research, including Fulbright and Humboldt Fellowships. He took Eva and some or all of their children on his sabbaticals, which included work at universities in Thailand, Germany, Norway, and New Zealand. Kurt was an active advocate for the preservation of the open space in Boulder. He was a participant in the conceptualization and adoption of the Blue Line Amendment, which protects Boulder's scenic backdrop from development, as well as for the establishment of the Boulder's City and County open space programs. There was nothing Kurt enjoyed more than hiking or skiing "up in the hills" with his family, friends, students and colleagues, as well as his daily strolls around the neighborhood. He and Eva loved to be outdoors and cared deeply about preserving the natural environment. Everybody was welcomed in to Kurt and Eva's home for conversation with a cup of coffee, glass of lemonade, or if they were lucky, a wonderful meal. Many delicious dinners were shared at the Gerstle house, with lively discussion about everything imaginable. Kurt was preceded in death by his beloved wife Eva and brothers Rudy and Harry. He is survived by his daughter Andrea of Boulder; sons, John and George of Boulder, and Walter of Albuquerque; daughters-in-law, Heidi, Linda and Irene; grandchildren, Anna, Nicholas, Eva, David and Pia; and brother Peter of San Francisco. Contributions can be made in Kurt's memory to the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Foundation, or to a fund established by friends and colleagues in his name at the University of Colorado Foundation. A memorial service will be held on March 30 2-4pm at the Chautauqua Community House.

Published in The Boulder Daily Camera on Mar. 1, 2013
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