William C. Kurtz, Jr.June 4, 1920 - March 29, 2018
Bill was a true Westerner with a passion for the outdoors. Known as a beacon of business ethics, he had a twinkle in his eye and a positive outlook for over 97 years.
Born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, he married his childhood sweetheart, Alma Graves, who was his kindred spirit for 61 years until her death in 2013. After graduating from Yale University, Bill joined the Air Force where he tested some of the earliest jets and trained pilots at multiple bases in California before returning to Grand Junction at the end of the Second World War.
Bill spent his entire career in the lumber business, from milling to retail to wholesale. He started in the family operations of the Independent Lumber Company and the Biggs-Kurtz Hardware Company in Grand Junction, and went on to be president of Anderson Independent Lumber and Brown Lumber Sales in Denver. He was one of the founders of the Alpine Lumber Company, now one of the largest independently owned lumber retailers in the country. His strong civic interests included longtime associations with a variety of Denver organizations, including the University of Denver where in 1993 he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. He especially enjoyed his involvement with the Steamboat Springs Ski Area, where he skied with enthusiasm until his 89th birthday. He will be remembered for his unassuming grace and generous spirit.
He is survived by three sons, William Douglas, Peter, and Charles; their wives, Linda, Mary, and Jennie; seven grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations are gratefully received at The Edna Biggs Kurtz Chair in Biological Sciences at the University of Denver.
A private family ceremony will be held in his honor.
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Apr. 18, 2018.