Joel “Joe” D. Kurtz, 56, of Green Valley, Ariz., formerly of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Funeral services for Joel will be held on Monday, February 4, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with Fr. C.F. Wilhelm celebrating the Mass. Friends may call at the Gilbertson Funeral Home on Sunday, February 3 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a Rosary and scripture service at 7 p.m.
Honorary bearers will be Tim Peters, Dave Erikson and all of his close friends. Music will be provided by Lynne Webster and Audrey Myklebust. Reading the scriptures will be Amanda Schwan and gift Bearers will be Amanda Schwan, Kyla Maritato and Wallie Klier.
Joel David was born September 11, 1956 to Balzer and Marion (Halvorson) Kurtz at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake, ND. He was educated at St. Mary’s Academy until the 8th grade and graduated from Devils Lake Central High School with the class of 1974.
Joe worked road construction for Hulstrand Construction and several other companies. In the winter months he hauled propane for Behm’s Propane. He also worked for Lake Region Asphalt until he lost his legs in a tragic work related accident in 1985. After a long struggle, Joe made a full recovery. He became the owner of several different businesses including Classic Limousine, Southgate Health and Fitness Center, Kurtz Snowmobile Sales and Kurtz Snow Removal. He started with a lawn tractor and snow blower and grew the business over the next 15 years to include 13 snowplows.
Joe moved to Arizona in March of 2003 where he made his home until his death.
Joe had a passion for the outdoors. He tagged many whitetail and mule deer in North Dakota, but his greatest pleasures were hunting trophy elk, sheep and bear in the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyo.. Joe also had a “need for speed”. He was a huge NASCAR fan and spent many “speed” weeks in Florida watching the Daytona 500. He also owned his own Super Stock Race Car.
Joe was a man who beat most odds and defined the word “courage”. He had a contagious smile that brightened any room and was full of life and energy. He made sure he captured everyone’s attention and made new friends where ever he went. He was a very determined individual. There were many things that became difficult for him to do, but he never gave up until the job was done.
Joe is survived by his children, Jessica (Chad) Close of Grand Forks, N.D.; Jayme Kurtz, Grand Forks and Joel Kurtz Jr. of Devils Lake; three grandchildren, McKenna, Parker and Brayleigh Close all of Grand Forks; special friend, Sally Barr of Green Valley; sisters, Jeanne (Tony) Foss of Arizona Julie Horniblow of California; Aviyah Kurtz of Washington, Jill Sande of Arizona and Jennifer Kurtz of Montana; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Page 2 of 2 - Joe’s father, Balzer died on October 21, 2008, his mother, Marion on January 24, 2013; maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents and uncle, Richard Kurtz preceded him in death.
Friends may sign the online register book and share memories of Joel at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com
Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.