Richard W. Kurtz ’56

Richard W. Kurtz ’56 died on July 22, 2023, in Williamsburg, Virginia.

(The following was provided by the Portland Press Herald on July 31, 2023)

Richard Wellesley Kurtz ’56

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – On Saturday, July 22, 2023, Richard Wellesley Kurtz, loving husband and father of four sons passed away at the age of 89.

Dick was born on March 2, 1934, in New York City, NY, to Edward LeRoy Kurtz and Mary Howes Kurtz. He grew up in Great Neck, NY, and Portland, graduating from Deering High School and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he starred in football, basketball, and baseball.

After an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin and spending two years as an officer in the United States Army, he graduated from Harvard Business School in 1963. On June 16, 1963, he married Katharine Virginia Hoyt. They raised four sons, Robert, Edward, Glenn, and William.

Dick loved people, first and foremost “Ginny,” his wife of sixty years. He thrived on social activities, loving nothing more than working with Ginny to organize family reunions, annual cousins’ camps for his grandchildren, or sailing trips with his two brothers. Whether it was playing basketball, supporting Boy Scout camping trips, helping with school, or laughing uproariously at his beloved “Hogan’s Heroes,” he was always around for his four sons modeling a loving husband and father.

Dick was a founding member of Christ the Redeemer Church in Portland, serving for several years as its treasurer. Bible reading and praying were an important part of his daily life.

A successful entrepreneur, he founded Eastern Security Systems (now Protection One) and loved working with his employees and customers to create an outstanding business that won the industry’s top honor in 1986 and touched many people across northern New England.

Sailing was a lifelong passion. He started with his brothers Don and Ted racing The Running Wild, a lightning, on Casco Bay when he was a teenager. This grew into crewing for The Easterner (US-18) in the 1962 America’s Cup trials as well as many years racing with Ted and Don on the Maine racing circuit. More recently he loved cruising down the coast of Maine and the Canadian Maritime provinces with his family and brothers.

After selling the business in the late 1980s, he continued to engage with the community on the board of the Boys and Girls clubs of Portland. In keeping with his love for both instrumental and vocal music, he joined The Downeasters Barbershop chorus in Portland where he met Bruce Hamlin. Together they formed Saco Tower Operators, building and operating two cell towers in southern Maine. After playing tennis for many years, he became a golfing enthusiast which introduced him to a whole new community of cherished friends.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia; his four sons, Robert, Edward, Glenn, and William; his brothers Donald Kurtz of Stamford, CT, and Theodore Kurtz of Portland, and ten grandchildren.

At Bowdoin, he was a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity.

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