July 19, 2023
Jan. 23, 1952 - July 10, 2023
Delbert M. Kurtz, 71, of Sweet Home, died peacefully July 10, 2023.
He was born Jan. 23, 1952, in Plain City, Ohio, to Monroe and Lizzie Ann (Mullet) Kurtz, the youngest of 10 children – six girls and four boys.
Mr. Kurtz's family attended the Amish Church, then the Bethesda Beachy Church when he was growing up.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Esther Marie Gingerich, in 1970. They had six children: Tony, Dawnita, Benjy, Christopher (who lived only two days), Almanzo and Hanz.
They raised their family in Ohio until 1989, when they decided to move to Oregon to be closer to Mr. Kurtz's brother Paul, and have lived here in the area ever since.
Mr. Kurtz was very athletic his whole life, and excelled at a lot of things. He was the shortstop for his high school baseball team when he was in the seventh grade.
He was quite good at such things as tractor pulls, golf, target bow shooting, softball (he hit cross-handed in softball and golf) and lots and lots of volleyball.
Mr. Kurtz collected many trophies for playing on teams, as well as some from coaching a high school team in Ohio. He was also an avid bow hunter starting in the 1970's, before it was cool. He shared that hobby with his sons and grandchildren.
He shot countless deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, fox and many other animals with a bow.
Mr. Kurtz worked as a carpenter most of his adult life. The Kurtzes owned a bakery for a short while and his wife trained him to be quite the fantastic baker.
He was known (since her death in 2011) for making her recipe of cinnamon rolls for many people. It was part of his healing process and something that kept him busy after she was gone.
Mr. Kurtz would show up to work, the church, his bank or wherever else he could think of with packages of cinnamon rolls that he handed out to people.
He was the kind of guy who would happily help anyone that needed it and do it with a laugh or a joke along the way.
One of his great memories was a trip to Indonesia that he took with family members to help his nephew Aldine and wife Rosanna set up their house in the jungle, where they would be living as missionaries.
Mr. Kurtz was a great dad and grandpa, and loved spending time with his kids and grandchildren. He passed on his love of sports, competitiveness and his carpentry skills onto his family.
He was as honest as the day is long, never hesitating to indict even himself to be honest. He loved people and was always so accepting of the new person in the room.
He remarried in 2013 to Sara June Stutzman and gained a whole other family in the process.
Mr. Kurtz is survived by his wife, Sara June; his children: Tony and Sara Kurtz, Dawnita and DJ Nealon, Benjy and JJ Kurtz, Almanzo Kurtz, and Hanz and Michelle Kurtz; siblings Sara, Rosa, Manny and Mary; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
He is also survived by his six stepchildren: Duane and Kim Miller, Linda and Rod York, Bonnie and Dan Carpenter, Loren and Stephanie Miller, Wendell and Marta Miller, and Annalise and David Torres; 18 step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther Marie Gingerich; son Christopher Keith; his parents, Monroe and Lizzie Ann Kurtz; and siblings Andy, Barbara, Esther, Bertha and Paul.
A funeral service was held July 17 at Community Chapel 42250 Ames Creek Road, Sweet Home. Burial followed at Gilliland Cemetery.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.