Kewpie of the Month, May 2013

Kent Kurtz, Class of 1948

Student Council
Most Versatile
Junior - 1947
Sophomore - 1946
Coffee & camaraderie
Friends visiting
Comments from friends - "Update"
Please send any comments or stories you have to share
about Kent Kurtz to:
to be added to this page in honor of this "Great Kewpie!"







Missouri in the NCAA Tournament


College World Series

Defeated Northern Colorado, 15–1
Defeated Holy Cross 1-0
Defeated Penn State3-2
Lost to Holy Cross 3-7
Lost to Holy Cross 4-8
National Runners-Up



College World Series

Defeated Lafayette 6-3
Lost to Rollins 4-1
Defeated Massachusetts 8-1
Defeated Oklahoma State 7-3
Defeated Michigan State 4-3
Defeated Rollins 4-1
National Champions

Award in 1954 honored MU baseball's Simmons


Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 12:00 am from "The Columbia Daily Tribune

Kent Kurtz, a hometown lad, had a great career at MU. He enrolled at MU in 1948. Kent described Hi this way: "He was a stickler for fundamentals - relays from the outfield and all those little details. He danced to his own drum and had a way to correct you - I don't know what it was, but he could get to you." Kent lettered in 1950-51 and '52 and signed with the New York Yankees.

Missouri Tigers


Kent Kurtz-New York Yankees, 1957

RELATED STORIES: Coffee and camaraderie

Coffee and camaraderie

What started as a gathering of assistant coaches from MU in the 1940s has since turned into a fluid meeting of about a dozen men every weekday morning at 10.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 | 4:43 p.m. CDT; updated 9:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008 - from the "Missourian" Columbia, MO

Leo Funk, left, listens to Kent Kurtz's story about playing golf with his grandson. The two men meet with several other local seniors every Monday through Friday at the Hy-Vee from 10 a.m. to noon. This picture was taken on May 20. 


Scattered among salt and pepper shakers, shiny metal napkin holders and some yellow marigolds at the Hy-Vee on Broadway, about a dozen different-sized coffee mugs sitting on five gray and white speckled tables serve as the placeholders for quite a stately group of gentlemen.

Leo Funk, a retired banker, points and announces each member of the group, excitedly telling some highlights of each person’s life.       

Kent Kurtz chat during his weekday coffee routine at Hy-Vee.

Ralph "Boot" Stewart listens to his friends chat during their daily coffee routine at Hy-Vee.

“This guy here was a football player at the university. That one was a golf pro,” he says, continuing around the table naming a former principal, several teachers, a basketball player turned real estate agent — and the list goes on and on.

Ralph “Boot” Stewart, sitting directly to the left of Funk and the captain of the MU football team in 1946, says the group started out as a gathering of assistant coaches from the university in the 1940s and has since turned into a fluid meeting of about a dozen men every weekday morning at 10.

Quite storied, these men move from topic to topic as fast as a sideline coach’s hand signals. Different conversations break off from others; tangents turn into tales about grandchildren and first jobs, and the coffee sits in its place, with an occasional sip between punch lines and big finishes.

Flights turn into navigational nightmares, marching bands spell out “Boot” at Nebraska, grandchildren have exceeded expectations, and jobs used to pay 25 cents an hour.

But what is most interesting is the element of sports that permeates this collective, paralleling the founding members of the coffee group some 60 years later.

Stewart tells of his first game as coach of the University of South Dakota football team, against Nebraska no less. He explains he was down to his third string center after one fractured his jaw and the other went to medical school.

“And that guy snapped the ball over the head of the punter, and it went 40 yards,” Stewart says, eyes wide, pointing over his shoulder with his thumb and letting everyone know how far that really is. “And he was the nephew of George Edwards, the basketball coach and chair of the physical education department at MU,” and he shakes his head a little and smiles, still not believing how small this world really is.

Also connected to the football team is Funk, whose grandson is Adam Crossett, the placekicker and punter for MU since 2004. When Funk talks about himself, he rattles off a very short bio — master’s from MU, banker, then moved to Columbia almost 20 years ago — and then turns the discussion right to his grandchildren. He beams about the awards that Crossett has received and also about the successes of his other equally impressive grandchildren.

But recreational sports attract members of this group, too, and Jim Craigmile is a weekly participant. He shoots pool every Thursday morning at the senior center, and when asked if he is any good, he replies with a tilt of his head and says, “I said I’m supposed to be playing pool tomorrow.” The other guys around him laugh, too, and tell him good luck.

“A lot of things are discussed, but nothing is ever decided,” Stewart says, letting out a hearty chuckle. He touches his blue mug in front of him but doesn’t take a drink. It’s not really about the coffee anyway.

Caregivers of people with Alzheimer's face tough choices

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:40 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Paula Kurtz visits her husband Kent Kurtz at the Mexico Veteran's Home on Valentine's Day last year. Kent Kurtz has Alzheimer's disease. Before the disease progressed to the point where Kent entered the nursing home facility, Paula cared for him in their home in Columbia. 

COLUMBIA — Sometimes, he still calls her by her name.  Sometimes, he calls her "Peach," the nickname he gave her before they were married. Sometimes, he calls her "Mama" when he's confused.  

The one thing Paula Kurtz's husband always knows: She is someone who cares about him.

Kent Kurtz has Alzheimer's disease. He's 82 and has lived for the past year in the Mexico Veterans Home. 

Paula took care of him in their home in southwest Columbia for five years, making sure he was supervised at all times.  She's now 79 and goes to Mexico about four times a week to spend a few hours with her husband.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates there are 5.4 million people in the United States with the disease and more than 15 million unpaid caregivers.  Caregivers are often relatives who care for their loved ones in their homes.  

The nature of Alzheimer's disease makes providing care particularly difficult, as the disease attacks the brain. Those with Alzheimer's not only lose the ability to store new memories but also the ability to express their needs.

Having a loved one with Alzheimer's means losing that person twice, Paula explained, and in that sense she "lost him a few years ago," she said. And, although the past five years have been rough for her, she continues to care for her husband in any way she can, for both his sake and her own.

Life before Alzheimer's

They met at a Missouri football game in September 1955.  She was a senior, and he was a graduate student, an All-American baseball player at MU and had been in the Air Force.  She doesn't remember who the Tigers were playing in that game, but according to the Missouri athletics department website, the only home game in September of that year was against Maryland. Missouri lost 13-12.

The two married in 1956. Kent had spent some time as a minor league baseball player around  the time he was serving in the Air Force. He then became a teacher and a coach for Columbia Public Schools and was a vice principal of West Junior High when it opened. He became West's principal in the 1960s and was later the district athletics director. He also did a lot of basketball and football officiating, including Big Eight basketball games.

Paula was a fourth-grade teacher in Columbia until she became pregnant with her first child; back then, she said, you couldn't be pregnant and teach. She and Kent had four children, who now live in Kansas City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, Ariz. When the youngest became a third-grader, Paula became a teacher-librarian. After 12 years in that position, she became a real estate agent.

Kent left Columbia Public Schools to work at the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Paula specifically remembers the huge amount of work he put into the organization, which had a smaller staff at that time. He retired in 1990 as the associate director. Paula retired in 2001.

In 1989, just before retiring, Kent finished his dissertation and earned his doctorate in educational administration. After he retired, he traveled for MU Extension, informing high schools about available MU programs.

Diagnosing the disease

Paula was alert to signs of dementia in Kent because his mother and three of his four sisters had dementia. Two of those sisters, Paula thinks, most likely had Alzheimer's, which is a type of dementia.

When Kent started misplacing objects, losing his place in Columbia and having difficulty calculating tips, Paula wrote a letter to his doctor about her worries. The doctor did some tests and prescribed an introductory medication for dementia. On urging from her doctor, Paula took Kent to a neurologist in January 2007. The neurologist determined Kent had Alzheimer's disease.

Janie Bonham, an early-stage care consultant with the Alzheimer's Association, said Alzheimer's is not often caught in its early stages because of the stigma surrounding the disease.

Family members often deny the symptoms they see because they are frightened by the disease. Many doctors, too, miss the signs, and instead consider them normal signs of aging. Because of this, Bonham said she believes that the estimate of 14,000 people in the 29 counties of the mid-Missouri region who have the disease is low.

Bonham understands denial because she experienced it firsthand. Her mother had Alzheimer's, and she resisted acknowledging the signs herself.

"You think how stupid that is, to be an RN who can’t figure out what’s going on," she said.

Pam Richmond, a family services coordinator with the Alzheimer's Association, said one of the association's goals is to eliminate the stigma so people will address the disease actively, rather than resisting action.

No single process for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease is complete, said Joetta Coen, an associate director of programs and services with the association. Not even brain scans can definitively differentiate Alzheimer's disease from another form of dementia or a different health problem altogether, she said.

So in addition, a comprehensive test is given to those who suspect they might have Alzheimer's disease. The test looks at behaviors, symptoms and history as indicators of whether someone has the disease. Bonham refers many to the Senior Assessment Geriatric Evaluation Clinic at MU, which specializes in testing older people to determine their needs. She said the clinic also makes referrals to the Alzheimer's Association.

Bonham advises people to see a neurologist because Alzheimer's directly affects the brain.


Paula's transition to being a caregiver happened gradually, reflecting the pace of the changes in her husband's illness. She also hired a care manager to help make decisions.

A care manager is someone knowledgeable about the problems older people may face who uses that knowledge to help advise a client and a client's family when making choices. In Paula and Kent's case, their care manager went to medical appointments with them, helping them to understand what the doctor was saying and asking necessary questions.

"I feel like I really got the cream of the crop," Paula said about her care manager. The two have become close over the years, as she gave Paula a lot of support through the process.

Alzheimer's doesn't take effect abruptly. Instead, the person with the disease has good days and bad days and can sometimes compensate around family members and others. But no matter how well he or she may seem, the disease is still lurking. The shifts can add to the stress of caregivers.

"It just creeps; it just destroys the brain," Richmond said about how slowly Alzheimer's affects the brain. She compared the disease's effect on memory to a rewinding video tape that erases as it goes. People with Alzheimer's lose track of what year they are in and how old the people around them should be.

Sometimes, Richmond says, asking questions can help determine where a person is in their history that day. Once that is established, the person's mood can be lifted by playing music from that time period or otherwise acknowledging it. For example, when women believe they are at the age they became mothers, giving them a baby doll will often lighten their moods. 

The first big signal for Kent and Paula came the day he called Paula, lost in Columbia. She had to direct him home, and that was the end of his driving.

She didn't start acting as a caregiver full-time until Kent became lost again, this time on his daily walk around their neighborhood. Paula doesn't think he was wandering but that he became confused by the multiple culs-de-sac that mark their neighborhood. 

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that six out of 10 people with Alzheimer's will wander and become lost. Wandering is a particularly dangerous consequence of the disease because people can end up far from home, especially in a car rather than on foot, with no idea how to return.

When Paula started making sure Kent was under constant supervision, he still played golf with friends occasionally. During the early stages, she did errands and other personal tasks while he golfed.

Adult day care didn't work for her husband because Paula couldn't get him ready in time. He had begun going to bed late at night and waking up much later in the morning. He also became uncooperative while getting dressed, and she said he was usually not ready for the day until the afternoon — even on days when he woke up early.

Adult day care works much like child day cares, allowing people with Alzheimer's to socialize while left under supervision during the day so their caregivers can work or otherwise get a break. Adult day care is helpful because it can save money, particularly if the primary caregiver is still working, Coen said.

Paula's solution was to hire in-home care. Coen said in-home options are available at different levels, from companions to in-home nurses.

But Kent didn't react well to having people come into the home to watch him, so Paula told him they were around to help her, instead. Having in-home care helped Paula keep up her social life, such as continuing to play bridge. She was unable to host bridge parties at home, as she couldn't control Kent's behavior, but she could still host and attend gatherings elsewhere.

As Kent's condition worsened, Paula faced new challenges. At one point, he stopped recognizing his own reflection, instead thinking an intruder was in the house. Paula covered the large mirrors in her house, but uncurtained windows that take up the entire back wall of her living room still posed problems.

Her husband also started to act as though she had invented the concept of pajamas and actively resisted them. Paula had him wear clothes that could comfortably be worn to bed. She bought him a pair of Puma tennis shoes after he liked a pair a family member wore while visiting them. He got to the point where he wouldn't take those off, either, even to go to bed.

"What I learned is what's important and what's not," she said. "If you want to sleep in your shoes, sleep in your shoes."

Planning ahead

Bonham describes her job as helping keep people at home as long as possible. What this depends on is the safety of both the person and those around him or her, she said.

Short-term memory affects the level of safety; without it, an understanding of the surroundings becomes impaired. For example, Bonham's mother developed the habit of putting a pot of beans on the stove to heat, then forgetting about them.

The well-being of the caregiver is also important in determining whether a person can remain at home. "The health of a caregiver can go down fast," Bonham said.

Richmond said around half of all caregivers become depressed, especially men. She said the unusual sleep patterns and incontinence are particularly difficult for caregivers. Sometimes, the stress becomes so great, the caregiver dies first.

Paula said a support group Richmond hosts for women whose husbands have Alzheimer's helped her realize she needed to take care of herself, as well.

"I think women are inclined to think they can do everything and take care of everything," she said. "I certainly care about him enough that I would."

The Alzheimer's Association advises caregivers to have a plan ready for the next step because movement to a care facility is often spurred by a crisis, Bonham said. Richmond agreed, saying a plan can take pressure off the family during a crisis because the big decisions have already been made.

Some facilities, such as assisted living and intermediate care, can provide a certain level of care and supervision, but once the person needs more, the next step is a nursing home. In that case, Richmond said, an additional plan for that step would be needed.

People in the early stages of Alzheimer's can help make those decisions, Bonham said. He or she can be put on a waiting list, even if the family turns the position down when their turn comes up. Bonham had her mother on a waiting list, and declined placement a few times.

Richmond says she steers families away from promises not to place family members in care facilities, as it often leads to guilt if the promise must be broken. 

"It's not necessarily the same person as the disease progresses," Richmond said. 

Paula's decision to put her husband on the waiting list for the Mexico Veteran's Home was difficult.

"Everything was an ordeal, and that wears on you after a while," she said. She picked it because it was somewhere she could see Kent being happy. And although it wasn't a top priority for her, it is a third of the price of other nursing homes.

"His room overlooks a baseball field, if you'll believe it," she said. "That just sold me on it."

Paula declined the space the first time his name came to the top of the list, even though his doctor and neurologist both advised it was time for him to be moved to a nursing home. When his name came up again a year later, she accepted.

"I didn't know if I could make it another year," she said.

Continuing to care

Kent has now lost most of his mobility and uses a wheelchair to get around. He also has a lot of difficulty speaking. Most of the sentences he begins are left unfinished.

Paula can't make the trip to Mexico every day but tries to go for a few hours several times a week. Kent's lack of mobility is particularly hard for her to see; after all, he was once an athlete.

She watches Missouri Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals games with him. She isn't sure if he still remembers the rules or if they're his teams, but sometimes he comments on a pass or catch. He doesn't remember being an official.

These days, she tries to visit during his lunch time so she can help him eat because he often becomes distracted. "I'm still committed to him," Paula said. "Some people think I go too often, but it helps me to go."

She still has help. On days she can't go see Kent, a retired nurse who lives in Mexico drops in on him for extra attention and activities.  

Paula continues to belong to the support group. She said most of the women in the group still have husbands at home, but several have husbands in care facilities. A few others have husbands in the Mexico Veteran's Home, so they make the trip together.

Paula has found it in herself to be grateful Alzheimer's isn't subjecting Kent to any physical pain. She's also thankful in a bittersweet way that he's been spared the grief of losing family and friends who have died recently.

She doesn't know how his friends are dealing with his condition. Some visit him and spend time with him, but she worries some of them have decided not to visit him because he doesn't know who they are anymore.

"If I could teach anybody anything, it's that if you care about someone, if you give them a little time and attention, it doesn't matter if they know you or not."

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed. from the "Missourian" Columbia, MO

 John Kurtz & John Onofrio visit Coach Kurtz

Sent: Monday, January 28, 2013 11:28

To: Brian Kurtz; Kelly Kurtz; Kim Burzinski; Kristan Kurtz; John Kurtz; John Onofrio

Subject: dentist


Hi Kids and Friends, I had to share a great story with you. After Kent's third tooth loss, I called his Mexico dentist to help me understand what was happening. He said due to inability from both sides to properly care for his teeth, they were decaying at the gum line and breaking off and would continue to do so. After a bit more discussion, he said "You know he was my teacher and coach at Jeff and West". Bruce Garrett is a classmate of the wonderful John friends. I was so shocked at this revelation----can't believe it.  So had to share, small world!! Dad is making it ok currently, so we hope for no discomfort or infection---- and I'm trying to adjust to his appearance. More later,  Mom/Paula


PS Johns. I'll send pictures of Kent in the Jr High  tee shirts as soon as I can catch him in them:):)


Coach Kent Kurtz

In the 1997 movie “As Good As It Gets,” Jack Nicholson says to Helen Hunt: “You make me want to be a better man.” I today believe that Coach Kent Kurtz did that for us when we were boys. Furthermore, he did it in ways whereby we have continued to benefit from his lessons through all of the years. A product of Jefferson Junior High School, Hickman High School, and the University of Missouri, he himself had been where we were and where we were going. He knew what we were about, and he tried to guide us in all of the right directions. To me, he was everything you would want a coach to be.
“A coach is a politician, a judge, a public speaker, a teacher, a trainer, a financier, a laborer, a psychiatrist, psychologist and a chaplain.” Coach Kent Kurtz has been all of these things to so many people.

I am today touched to recognize and realize his extreme humility. I never heard or knew that he played quarterback for the Kewpies. I never knew or heard that he had been on a National Championship baseball team at the University of Missouri for Coach “John Hi” Simmons. I never knew or heard that he was drafted by the New York Yankees into professional baseball. I never knew or heard that he was a veteran of the United States military service. He was focused on us and never focused on himself. By example and also by explicit teaching, he taught us the best ways to live our lives.

“[A coach] must be an optimist and yet at times appear a pessimist, seem humble and yet be very proud, strong but at times weak, confident yet not over-confident, enthusiastic but not too enthusiastic.” --- All of these abilities were always present in Coach Kent Kurtz

So, I today---50 years later and more---write to express my heartfelt appreciation for all that he has done for me and for us. Coach Kent Kurtz has my absolute respect for the man that he has always been and is yet today. He gave so very much to all of us.

“[A coach] must be willing to give freely of his time, his money, his energy, his youth, his family life, his health and sometimes even life itself. In return, he must expect little financial reward, little comfort on earth, little privacy, little praise but plenty of criticism.” --- Coach Kent Kurtz was ever-willing to give all of those things. Also, he willingly and patiently accepted all of the limitations that came with coaching.

Finally, I want to say that he had the tremendous benefit of the consistent love, support, and understanding from his bride Paula Kurtz who has always adored him and who stands by him yet today in the challenges he currently faces.

John Kurtz

Dear Coach Kurtz:

     I write today to you on your 80th birthday.  I was so happy to visit with you and Miss Paula recently when John Onofrio and I were able to come over together and share a meal with you. 

     I have seen the message sent to you by my friend Gary Blackmore.  I endorse everything he said in that message.  You were the first real coach I ever had.  You added a great deal to my life. 

     I remember 9th grade football and 9th grade track.  Both of those were eye-opening experiences for me.  I appreciated the discipline.  I appreciated lessons that I seem to remember about treating people right, having respect, exercising self discipline, staying away from alcohol and drugs, etc., etc., etc.  I have been a teetotaler all of my life, and I give you great credit for that.  It has undoubtedly saved me from a lot of trouble.

     I have told you many times of the huge respect that I have for the way you treated both Coach Powell and Coach Brooks.  It was always obvious how much regard both of them had for you.  For Coach Brooks to be given a chance to continue his coaching career was magnificent.  I will always be grateful to you for that. 

     I really wanted to play basketball, too, but I just was not good enough.  You allowed me to be the team statistician, and I truly enjoyed that. 

     So, now, after all of the years, I thank you for all of that.  It was a grand experience, and you gave me a great start in life.  Of course, I was thrilled to have the same last name as you.  I wish I could have established an actual

kinship in terms of blood relation.  It may be that we have that in the far distant past.  However, I thought it was pretty cool to be going around Jefferson Junior High school with your same last name.

     So I close with huge gratitude for all that you did to get me started out on a good path in life.  The lessons you taught me have served me very well over all of the years.  I am deeply, deeply appreciative of all of that. 

     God bless you for being the fine and wonderful man that you have always been.

With love,

John Kurtz, 1965 Kewpie

Kent Kurtz was as smooth an infielder as I ever saw in Columbia and a very tough out because he rarely swung at bad pitches.. Not only was he one of Columbia's greatest baseball players he was a role model off the diamond and throughout his life.

Russ Sloan, 1956 Kewpie

I met Coach Kurtz when I was a fourth grader in Benton School. His wife was my fourth grade teacher for the first half of the year. She left in the middle of the year to have a baby. Then I met him again at Jefferson Junior. He was doing some coaching and at some point he became an assistant principal.

Later when I was doing some substiture teaching, he was the assistant at one of the schools I was at. I was teaching and the kids were doing pretty well except for a couple who kept being distracting. All of a sudden the room got deathly quiet and there was Mr. Kurtz. I never had a moment of problem again at that building. He backed all of us, even the substitutes.

Years later I was the counselor at Glasgow, Missouri and he stopped by to visit in his role in a new job. He was always a good guy, very calm, very fair and had the interests of the students at heart. I look at the year he graduated and am amazed that he really was not that old when I was working with him. Alll of our teacher seemed so much older.

I also liked his wife. She was kind, patient and made learning fun. Mrs. Coyle replaced her in the middle of the year and finished out the year. She was also very good, but I missed Mrs. Kurtz.

Ted Fleener, 1967 Kewpie

When I was a freshman and played football for Coach we went to Sedalia and I forgot my helmet in the locker room after the game. He boarded the bus with a helmet and it was mine! I forget how many laps I had to run the next day in practice for forgetting my helmet. That was in 1959.

At my father’s funeral Coach was there as he and Dad had been golfing buddies. This was in 2002.

43 years after the helmet incident, Coach came up to me when he was leaving the Church and said “Bill, don’t forget your helmet”.

How he could remember that incident after all those years and all those athletes that he had coached, I’ll never know.

He was a special Coach and mentor to me and I have tried to use his positive motivational techniques throughout my life.

Bill Griffin, 1963 Kewpie

Charley, thanks for the information about Coach Kurtz. There is so much I didn't know. One thing I do know is that he was a great leader and always got the most out of me. I still after all of these years think he was the best coach I ever knew. He was always encouraging and I never knew him to act like a jerk. Along with Coach Powell, they made a great team. I have such great memories of those times at Jefferson Jr. High with him. I still think of him. "I am sitting now and crying as I read that he has Alzheimer's."
Carl Scott, 1963 Kewpie

I can’t add much more that has already been said about a really great man.  He helped many a boy become a man and there has not been a year go by that he has not been in my thoughts.  When my mother and my dad died, Kent Kurtz was there at the funeral home.  It was touching and I did not expect to see him there.  This man taught everyone he touched about how to get along in life and be a better person.  He is missed and will be forever in my thoughts and prayers.


Craig Ficklin

Hi Charley ~

The above was forwarded to me from Paula Kurtz and it was like a visit from many friends of long ago!   I am the widow of Buford M. Watson, Jr., lifelong friends of Kent and Paula until his death on October 24, 1989, and we have continued our friendship throughout the years!   Kent and Buford were close buddies from Kindergarten years on, and when Paula and Kent married, they rented our house on Fairview Avenue while Buford and I continued schooling at University of Kansas for his Master's Degree in City Management, here in Lawrence, Kansas.

As I read the entire package, there were so many of those wonderful friends of Buford that made his life so meaningful and worthwhile.   The names and faces seemed so familiar to me because so many friendships were continued throughout the years as we attended Kewpie Reunions and returned to Columbia very often as Buford's City Manager work took him from city to city:  San Angelo, Texas; Henrietta and Muskogee, Oklahoma; Sioux City, Iowa; and then here in Lawrence, Kansas, where we raised our four sons and put down roots! Perhaps here I should say that we always allowed Buf to make one good cheer for  "Missou-rah" when we faced games together!

We saw Kent often during his officiating Big 8 basketball games played in Allen Fieldhouse here in Lawrence, only a few blocks from our home.   After the games, many times he spent time at our house, always ready to answer the "whys" and "how comes" that the Watson sons were ready to ask him! We always managed to squeeze in visits to Kent and Paula during the Columbia visits as we saw to the aging Watson parents & family.

Buford Watson is another story that is dear to so many people, including the half dozen Kewpie's that attended his funeral services!   He served as President of the International City Management Association and received numerous other honors during his many years of city government. He traveled extensively world-wide in those roles and it was fortunate that I, his wife, was in the international travel consulting business for 28 years!

His oldest son, Mark Watson, has now been a City Manager longer than Buford and is presently in Oak Ridge, TN after serving in Texas, Montana, Arizona; his son is also a City Manager, serving Nevada, Oregon, and now Minnesota. The Watsons are the first 3-generation City Managers in the profession. I didn't mean to get so involved in the Watson Story -- back to Kent Kurtz!

It was a wonderful, moving story you did and the Watsons want to thank you so very much.    Is there a special project you do in the name of Kurtz that classmates & friends are contributing to?    I would appreciate your letting me know!   It is wonderful that you wrote it while Kent is still aware of these type of things and while there are so many Kurtz friends still around!

Thanks again, Charley - and who knows, maybe I'll have an opportunity to thank you in person one of these days on one of my visits.

Faye Watson (Mrs. Buford M. Watson, Jr.)

 Thanks, Coach Kurtz, For all that you gave, many a boy became a better man, because of it!

from Charley Blackmore, aka., webmaster, 'Mr. Kewpie'