Alma Graves Kurtz died Jan. 15, 2013, at age 92 at Rose Memorial Hospital in Denver with family members at her side. She was born March 25, 1920, in Canon City the daughter of Dr. Herman C. Graves and Alma Kuehn Graves. She spent most of her childhood and early adulthood in Grand Junction, where her father was a family practitioner.
Alma graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in English literature, and in June 1942, she married her childhood friend William Clarence Kurtz. Bill was a fighter pilot instructor in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and the young couple was stationed near Pismo Beach, Calif., where Alma gave birth to their first son. After the war, they returned home to Grand Junction, where Bill worked for the family business, The Independent Lumber Co., and Alma gave birth to two more sons. In 1961, the company headquarters were relocated to Denver, and the family moved to Englewood.
Alma went back to school at the University of Denver and earned her master’s degree in speech pathology in 1965. She worked in community clinics and private practice in the Denver area for many years. Alma was passionate in her support of the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Colorado Historical Society and the University of Denver. She and Bill cherished their home and friends in Steamboat Springs, where they were partners in the ownership group of the ski area during the Martin Hart era.
Alma especially loved visiting and hiking near the family cabin in the Frying Pan River valley, skiing the slopes of Steamboat into her 80s and traveling the world with Bill, her beloved husband and lifelong friend. She was a voracious reader and had an ongoing quest for knowledge and understanding. The last two books on her table were “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” and the “Happiness Advantage.”
She is survived by her husband of more than 70 years, William C. Kurtz Jr., of Denver; her sister Barbara Graves Counley, of Littleton; her three sons and their spouses William Douglas and Linda Kurtz, of Grand Junction, Peter L. and Mary Kurtz, of Steamboat, and Charles H. and Jennie Kurtz, of Englewood; as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The memorial will be a private family gathering. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Alma’s name to the Steamboat Art Museum, P.O. Box 883434, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488, or the Colorado Historical Society, P.O. Box 40910, Denver, CO 80204.