On Wednesday, August 25th, 2021, Joseph R. Kurtz Sr. passed away surrounded by his family at the age of 88. Joe was born on August 14, 1933 in Davenport, IA to Frances Marvin and Joseph C. Kurtz.
Graveside services will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 27, 2021 at Davenport Memorial Park.
Joe was united in marriage with the love of his life, Ethel Rene Hull, on November 28, 1966 in Cuero, Texas, and were married for 54 years.
Joe was a go-getter in life working a variety of jobs starting at the age of 12 by delivering the Des Moines Register to St. Luke’s Hospital, working at Davenport Fish Market, Hickey Brothers Cigar Shop, selling cars and insurance and even was a carhop at Ted’s Drive In!
Joe joined the United States Navy (with permission from his Mom) and served during the Korean War. He was an aircraft engine mechanic stationed at USNAAS Kingsville, Texas (1952-1960).
Joe and Ethel were Foster Parents sharing their love, home and family with a lot of kids through the years.
Joe loved riding his Harley and going on Poker Runs, racing their MGM & MGB cars (Ethel won most of the trophies), league bowling, and watching Clint Eastwood & John Wayne movies and wrestling.
Joe was a milkman for many years starting at Carnation Dairy in Texas, then at Model Dairy, Downing Dairy and Swiss Valley Farms. Joe had a country route and his customers were especially happy to see him in winter as he blazed a trail through the snow so they could get their cars out!
He drove a semi-truck for several companies before owning two of his own and after ‘retirement’, Joe worked as a caretaker at Duck Creek Park Lodge and as a bus driver for Davenport Schools.
He is remembered with love by his wife Ethel, sister Louise Atha, Davenport, IA; sister-in-law Mary Lou (Luis Jr.) Fernandez, Eagle Lake, TX; brother-in-law Donald (Melanie) Hull, Gonzales, TX; son Joe (Fran) Kurtz Jr., Davenport, IA; daughters Patti (Ben) Green, Davenport, IA; and Kate (Amit) Jain, Tallahassee, FL; close nephew Brian Atha, Davenport, IA; beloved grandchildren Tanya Sprague, Shanyn Sprague, Derek Green, Lance Green, Reannon Kurtz, Sierra Nadermann, Lindsey Kurtz, Matt Schroeder, Morgan Kurtz, Katelyn Kurtz, Joe Kurtz III, Anjali Jain, Veer Jain and Liam Jain; special cousins Arlene Babe Carabine, Dolly Gorman, and Jimmy Carabine; and nine beloved great-grandkids.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sons John Kurtz and Tim Sprague; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.