1942 – 2018
Russ Kurtz, 75, passed away on Saturday June 2, 2018, in his home in Weldon, Calif.
Russ was born in 1942 in Fort Benning, Ga., to Col. Jacob Wesley Kurtz and Addie Montgomery Tattersall Kurtz. Russ was predeceased by his parents and his “baby” sister Anne Elizabeth Kurtz, whom he loved so dearly.
Russ is survived by his sister Toni Ruth (Mark) Rhoades, Monterey County, Calif., and nephew Christian Perala.
Being the child of a career military family, Russ consequently moved around during his early years: from Ft. Benning to Philadelphia, Pa., to Ft. Lee, Va., and Park Forest, Ill. He landed in Phoenix at age 12, where he attended school at Camelback High 1956-1960 and Arizona State University 1964-67. From 1960 – 1963, Russ served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater aboard ships used in the recovery of NASA astronauts and spacecraft from human spaceflight missions.
After discharge from the Navy, Russ started his civilian employment at Motorola in Scottsdale, Ariz., working with in their print shop. For the majority of the next 40 years, Russ would work within the commercial printing industry, ultimately founding Russell Press, Inc. in 1984 and retiring in 2002. Between 1974 and 1975, Russ took a brief professional detour, working for Malcolm Bricklin as Director, Public Relations/Advertising for the Bricklin Vehicle Corporation and served as General Manager for FasTrack International Speedway (Phoenix International Raceway) hosting the “Bricklin 150” in March 1975. Russ never lost his love for the sport of car racing.
Russ ultimately moved from the frantic environment of Southern California to the Kern Valley in 2002 and set up home in Lake Isabella/Weldon for the remainder of his life. It was here that Russ finally found peace. He developed lifelong relationships with a wonderful group of friends that shared common core values; kindness, support, caring and being there to help each other through good times and bad.
In 2013, Russ decided to come out of retirement as Secretary/Treasurer of the Lakeview Ranchos Mutual Water Co. It gave him purpose again, and he worked tirelessly to ensure the water district and its customers were taken care of; specifically, he supervised the 2 million dollar upgrade of water companies’ water delivery system.
He was a wonderful man who could have steely eyes, but had a heart of gold.