Russell E. Schurtz

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  • "Dr. Russ was a high school classmate, and a friend. I am..."
    - John Calhoun
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  • "Dear Family of Russ, Had such a wonderful conversation..."
    - Sondra King Welsh
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Russell E. Schurtz
AIKEN, SC - Dr. Russell E. Schurtz passed peacefully into history on Wednesday, October 28 in Aiken where he has been a resident for the past 10 years.
He was born on October 19, 1941 to Harold E. Schurtz and his wife Mildred A. Schurtz in Mason City, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa's College of Medicine and received his training in Otolaryngology (ENT) at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. He then entered the U.S. Army and served a three year tour at the 196th Station Hospital, SHAPE, Belgium. After returning stateside, he joined a mixed surgical group in Mason City, IA as their solo Otolaryngologist. He was practicing with a group of surgeons he had always admired in the hospital where he was born. His career spanned thirty years. As an associate professor of the University of Iowa's College of Medicine he helped 100 aspiring young Otolaryngologists begin their surgical careers. He loved teaching and was extremely gratified that he was able to recruit five of these best and brightest residents to join him in practice.
Having grown up in Mason City, the betterment of the community was very important to him. He actively worked toward this goal by participating in the Chamber of Commerce, as a trustee of the local art museum and junior college and well as being part of the core group that brought public radio to the North Iowa area.
From a much-used sailboat that he and a friend purchased while they we in high school, he went on to sail all of his life on many various lakes and oceans. While he was in the Army he was introduced to equestrian activities at the base riding club. As his medical practice grew, work and life got in the way, but later on he was able to embrace horses and riding with a passion, participating in hunter/jumper shows, polo games and carriage driving. It was this passion that drew him to retire to Aiken where he immersed himself in all things equestrian the area had to offer.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ann, daughters Liska Johnson (Derrick) Minnesota, Hunter Callanan (Casey) Iowa, grandchildren Porter and Emma Johnson, a sister and brother, a niece and four nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Mason City Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to offer a tribute may consider the following: Clear Lake Yacht Club Sailing School, Box 29, Clear Lake IA 50428; the Macnider Art Museum, 303 Second Street, Mason City, IA 50401; North Iowa Community College Foundation, 500 College Drive, Mason City, IA 50401.
His online guest registry may be signed at
Funeral Home
Shellhouse Funeral Home, Inc. - Aiken
924 Hayne Ave.
Aiken, SC 29801
(803) 642-3456
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Oct. 31, 2015
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