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John Fred Kurtt
John Fred Kurtt, 91, of Waverly, IA and formerly of Denver, IA died peacefully at home on August 23, 2022.

John was born on May 4, 1931, in Denver, IA, the son of Fred and Christine (Schmidt) Kurtt. He graduated from Denver High School in 1949 and attended Wartburg College in Waverly, IA graduating in 1953.

On May 31, 1953 he was united in marriage to Laurel Lee Rector at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Denver, IA.

John entered the United States Army obtaining the rank of Supply Sargent during the Korean War while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood located in Missouri.

His love of Laurel was only matched by his lifelong passion for teaching and coaching sports. He played varsity baseball and basketball at both Denver High School and Wartburg College. He earned his Master’s Degree in Physical Education at the University of Iowa and began his teaching and coaching career in St. Louis, MO, then at New Hartford High School (IA), and finally arriving at Wartburg College in 1961 to begin and end his career in coaching and teaching.

Over the next 31 years he coached a variety of sports, taught many types of physical education classes, became Athletic Director, ushered in the beginning of major athletic facility improvement at Wartburg College, and the Title IX expansion of Women’s sports at Wartburg College.

Serving as Head Coach for the Cross-Country Team was his longest serving position and after the retirement of Ernest Opperman he became the Head Coach of the Baseball Team after serving as assistant coach for many years. He also served as assistant Basketball Coach under Buzz Levick.

After retiring from Wartburg College John and Laurel traveled to many places in the United States, Canada, and Europe. While he was always interested in wood working, his retirement allowed him to spend many hours making fine wood working projects for an untold number of friends and family. He also was heavily involved with leading projects and volunteers for the Waverly Habitat for Humanity organization.

He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan and they (John and Laurel) made numerous trips to see the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium. Watching, listening to, and reading about the Cardinals was a true obsession for John.

On July 5, 2021 John lost the love of his life when Laurel passed away after 68 years of marriage and five years of dating. As a couple, they touched so many lives in Waverly and countless students at Wartburg College. Their relationship can only be described as a “Match Made in Heaven” and John’s reason for passing can only be described as “Broken Heart.”

John is survived by two sons, Douglas Kurtt (Bonnie Smith) of Northfield, MN and Timothy Kurtt (Elizabeth Roberts) of St. Paul, MN. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Garrett Kurtt, Denver, CO, Kory Kurtt, Northfield, MN, and Tyler Kurtt (Haley Baumhoefner), Fulda, MN along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Laurel, sisters; Dorothea Gleason, Marie Meyne, Elnora Brunstein, Bobbi Ecker Blatchford and Frieda Kurtt, brothers; Erwin Kurtt, Harold Kurtt, and Arthur Kurtt.

Memorials should be sent directly to Wartburg College for the Dan Huston Scholarship Fund.

The Great Oktoberfest Remembrance and
“Show and Tell”

Please join us in remembering John and Laurel Kurtt on Sunday, October 23, 2022, at the Waverly Area Veterans Post for The Great Oktoberfest Remembrance and “Show and Tell” from 3 PM to 6 PM.

On display will be photos, documents, memorabilia, and physical creations by the master craftsman himself.

A brief interlude at 4:30 PM will include a scripture reading and prayer followed by a few live musical numbers to fit the occasion (Not to be missed!).

In accordance with Oktoberfest traditional, German food and drink will be provided. RSVP your intentions, regrets, and memories on the John Kurtt “Tribute Wall” on the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home website.

A private family graveside interment for both Laurel and John will be held at a future date.
Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly is in charge of arrangements. 319-352-1187
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