Donald G. Kurtz, 64, of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a West Point graduate and Bronze Medal winner in the Vietnam War, died of Alzheimer’s disease Dec. 1, 2007.
Kurtz graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1965, participated in 51 combat missions on helicopters relaying information about enemy positions to pilots and won his decoration, according to his obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kurtz was a stockbroker who worked for several brokerage houses in the Philadelphia area.
He played basketball with coworkers and friends into his late 50s,, and was an excellent card player, his son, Chad, told the newspaper.
After Kurtz was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2001, he volunteered at a hospital, participated in medical trials, became a spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Association and testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies on behalf of the Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in 2003 to ask for more funds for Alzheimer’s research.
Kurtz told a reporter in 2003 he learned how to deal with adversity and considered his disease a challenge in the Army.
In 1965, he married Ronnie Trout, with whom he had two daughters; they later divorced. In 1979, he married Barbara Block; they had two daughters and a son before divorcing. In addition to his son, Kurtz is survived by his partner of more than 11 years, Rosalind Ruby; daughters Stacy Weinman, Sloane Zane and Ashley; a brother; four grandchildren; and his former wives. A daughter, Courtney, died in 1981.