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Shirley Kurtz 11/28/2013

Longtime River Falls resident Shirley J. Elliott Kurtz, age 91, died November 28, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona from complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The daughter of Henry and Anna Elliott, she was born June 4, 1922 in the Randall school district of River Falls. She was a graduate of River Falls High School.

Shirley will best be remembered in River Falls as the bookkeeper for Lund’s Hardware, where she put her ledger skills to use from 1940-42 as her first job out of high school. Shirley graduated from the Minnesota School of Business in 1943 and pursued a career in St. Paul, MN.  Following her marriage to Fred A. Kurtz, July 19, 1944, she focused on her home and raising her three daughters. Shirley returned to the Lund’s business office in 1964 where she issued deer and fishing licenses, collected phone and electric bills and was responsible for general accounts payable and receivable until her retirement in 1984.

For 30 years Shirley volunteered as the secretary-treasurer of the Kinnickinnic Historical Association and was one of the charter members for the preservation of the Kinnickinnic Church. She was also active in the Kinnickinnic Homemakers, Kinnickinnic Ladies Aid, a cooking and sewing leader in an area 4-H group, a 50-year member of a River Falls based sewing club, and a member of Luther Memorial Church.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Fred A. Kurtz; daughter, Barbara Kurtz Perry; sisters, Arlene Elliott Dixon, Leota Elliott Andrea and Dorothy Elliott Sharp.


Shirley is survived by daughters Karen (Moises) Hernandez of Mesa, AZ; Gayle (Paul) Fesperman, Duncan, SC; son-in-law Roger Perry, Lanesboro, MN; brother Elwood Elliott, River Falls, WI; 5 grandsons, 6 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.


A private interment will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls. A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Kinnickinnic Church, River Falls, WI, on June 14, 2014.


Donations in memory of Shirley J. Kurtz may made to the Kinnickinnic Historical Association, c/o Mary Murphy, 286 State Road 65, River Falls, WI 54022; or to the Alzheimer’s Association (

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