Donald Kurtz

DONALD WILLIAM KURTZ, 87 EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Donald William Kurtz, 87, died in the early morning of Thursday, August 22, 2013, at Azura Memory Care. He was born at home in Rock Grove, IL on November 26, 1925, to Nellie (Bottorf) and Floyd Kurtz. By age five, he worked as a water boy for his father, the foreman of a bridge building crew. He graduated Dakota High school in 1943, where he was a lettered athlete and then entered North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, financed with the help of his trapping. He continued his studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, was ordained in 1951, and was first assigned to a country church near La Moille, Illinois. On June 9, 1948, Donald married Phyllis M. Wise. This year, they celebrated their 64th anniversary, as per tradition, at Lake Julia. In 1956, Donald had moved his family, including children, Janet and Steven, to Three Lakes, WI, to construct the family cabin. Fifteen months later, he accepted the invitation be a youth pastor at First Congregational Church in Eau Claire. With the youth, he led canoe camp river trips, volunteered at Black River Indian Reservation and played in softball tournaments as part of their religious education. In 1965, Donald attended Stout State University, where he earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology. He worked twenty years with Eau Claire County Guidance Clinic, before retiring. He received numerous awards and commemorations within his professional fields and community volunteer work. Donald had strong work ethics, balanced by time in the woods and his garden. He enjoyed hunting with his friends, Native American culture and family cabin time. He left a legacy of unconditional love. Donald is survived by his wife, Phyllis; his daughter, Janet Kurtz and her husband, Robert Morgan; his grandson, Greg Doth, and Greg's family, wife, Cindy (Johnson) and their children, Ella and James. He was preceded in death by his son, Steven Kurtz; his parents; and siblings, Wilma and Woodrow Kurtz. Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 Broadway St., in Eau Claire. Visitation will be from 1:15 p.m. until the time of service at the church. Inurnment will be at a later date in Dakota Cemetery, Dakota, IL. Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral & Cremation Services is serving his family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the First Congregational Church, Eau Claire, Beaver Creek Reserve, S1 County Hwy K, Fall Creek, WI 54742; or Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D. (Re-member, PO Box 5054, Pine Ridge, SD 57770, To express condolences online, please visit obituaries at

Funeral Home

Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral & Crematory Services
814 1St Ave Eau Claire, WI 54703
(715) 832-8301

Published in The Journal-Standard from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27, 2013