A Eulogy for Bob Kurtz

Anyone who loves the outdoors-its changing moods and seasons, its mysteries and its charms, would have found a soul mate in Bob Kurtz. He was a man close to the natural world and close to the earth.

He knew its creatures and many of their secrets: which way the geese would fly from the refuge on a south-east wind, the right places to stalk the wild asparagus where the May sun warmed his secret glens and glades.

Bob had a special love of waterfowl and could identify even the rarest ducks in flight at astonishing distances.

Like his father, Dick, Bob loved sporting arms, especially the old classics such as the Parkers and the L.C. Smiths. Bob usually hunted geese with his ten-gauge double. His expertise with it was legendary, and I often saw from across one slough or another geese plummeting from high up accompanied by the boom of Bob's ten.

Like all true hunters, bob loved the game he hunted, and delighted in the colors of big rooster pheasants or the sheen on the plumage of his ducks. He was a born hunter-gatherer.

Nature to him was a holy thing, and he worshiped faithfully at its inner shrine-a kindred spirit with the autumn winds, warmed and ruddied by the kiss of the October sun. Thus he was not much for churches, preferring in their stead the vast cathedral dome of the sky, and I believe he was genuinely thankful for the great gifts God had given him with the outdoors. He was a grateful partaker both of its beauty and its bounty.

Bob, like his dad, was also a great talker and teller of anecdotes, especially on the topics of hunting or antiques. He had a naturally contagious enthusiasm when it came to telling of a great hunt he had had , or about some good buy he had made. He seemed usually happy even if not rich or famous.

He took great pride in his family, the accomplishments of his children, the great cooking of his wife and mother, and his father's well-know prowess as a marksman. He was a good father and dearly loved his wife.

As long as I've known Bob, I've never heard him run down another person. Instead he liked to point out the good things he saw in others, especially the common, ordinary souls he new from the workaday world. He found good in most, and liked to brag them up.

So, in his passing, let me fondly say:

Bob Kurtz, he was a good man, likeable and kind,
Lord, may he leave the pain of this world,
A better world to find.
May the paradise he moves in
Gleam with lakes and fields and trees;
May the songs of larks and killdeers
Waft upon its spring-like breeze-
May he see his wild geese flying
Over golden bordered sloughs,
See the mists of morning lying
Over meadowed avenues
May he take his father's massive hand
Go roving side by side
O'er a never-dying hunting land
A'glow at eventide.

Then rest beside that Holy Stream
That fathers all the rest
In a paradise more rich than dream
Among the truly Blessed.
With fondest recollection,

Gene Pinkney

(The neighbor kid who lived across the field)


Gene Pinkney
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Gene Pinkney
No quotes may be used without ascription