Thomas Russell Kurtz
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Thomas Russell KURTZ Born on January 22, 1921 in Tacoma, WA, moved to Highland Park, Seattle in 1924 and graduated from West Seattle High in 1939. Russ taught x-ray physics during WWII in Denver, Colorado where he met his wife, Shirley Dittman. He graduated from WSU with a doctorate in veterinary medicine and moved to Seattle in 1952 where he practiced until 1986. He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years in 1989. Our father found renewal in wild places. He was a life-long mountaineer who summited nearly all of the cascade snow peaks. He was a charter member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society, past president of the Seattle Zoological Society, served on the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, volunteered for the Washington Park Arboretum, life member of The Nature Conservancy and Audubon Society member. He had been a member of the University Unitarian church since 1963. Russ accompanied sons Roger and Joel and the boy scouts of troop 123 on numerous hikes including several week-long backcountry treks. He is survived by his five children, Erica Pickett of Anacortes, Joan Kurtz and Roger Kurtz of Seattle, Marta Martinsen of Sitka, Alaska, Joel Kurtz of Oakland, California and two grandchildren, Karl and Olin Martinsen of Bellingham, Washington. Memorial Services will be held at University Unitarian Church on Tuesday, April 26th at 2:PM. Remembrances may be made to The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society or Woodland Park Zoo Foundation.

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Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 9, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
April 21, 2011
I was very sad to hear about Russ's passing. I worked with him for 10 years at the Aurora Veterinary Hospital in my 20's and really enjoyed his kindness and love for the animals that came to us. Over the years we kept in contact through Christmas cards and I was always amazed at all the adventures he was on. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
Michelle Sizelove Cunningham
April 13, 2011
I had the pleasure of meeting Russ through monthly bird surveys at Carkeek Park for Seattle Audubon. I feel incredibly honored to have met him and spend time in the woods identifying birds, native plants, and mushrooms.

Russ had an amazing spirit and was always a joy to be around. He certainly touched my life in the short time I have known him, I will miss him dearly.

My deepest condolences to his family and close friends.

Marti Louther
April 12, 2011
I never knew Dr. Kurtz, but was a friend his daughter Erica. I am saddened at his passing for her sake.
Jim Delaney
April 11, 2011
I worked for and with Russ at Seattle Veterinary Hospital from the time I was 13-20. I learned more about life from him than almost anyone I have known. This was during the 60's and I have kept in contact through Christmas cards throughout the years. His cards were always unique and I enjoyed them very much. I have kept them all and will always remember him with the deepest appreciation. May God bless his family in this time of sorrow.
Linda Akins Swanson
April 10, 2011
Russ' never-ending smile and love for mushrooms will be greatly missed - Michelle
April 9, 2011
Our Charter Member Russ Kurtz, was a positive force in the Puget Sound Mycological Society. This gentle man with an optimistic outlook was always volunteering for our group and has been involved in shaping our group from our inception. He has chaired the collecting committee for the show for numerous years and even collected last October again at AGE 89 with his friend Marsi DiGiovanni for the entire day. This year in January we had a surprise 90th Birthday party for Russ at our January meeting which was a highlight of the meeting. His health was failing in the last month or so but we were fortunate to have him present at the Survivor's banquet on March 19th. Russ provided flowers from his garden and helped to assemble them for our annual Survivor's Banquet as he has for many years with Lynn Phillips. Also, as a retired Veterinarian, he was who I and others asked for help for the public when animals were poisoned by mushrooms. We will all miss him terribly.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend time in the life of Russ and I know that everyone who knew him in our group felt the same. We express our heartfelt condolence to Russ's family in the loss of their father, grandfather and family member.
Since Russ never slowed down till very recently:
Rest in peace Russ, should be replaced with a more appropriate wish:
Godspeed and Happy Hunting Russ, till we meet in the forest again!

Marian Maxwell
President Puget Sound Mycological Society 2010-2012
Marian Maxwell
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