With a deep sense of loss to our community, we mark the passing of Robert William Kurth on Friday, April 13, 2018 at the age of 86. He died peacefully at home with family by his side. He is survived by his older sister Lou Frank and younger sister Marge Williams, his wife of 56 years, Carol and their three sons and their families; Jan & Kim Bear, Todd & Kendel Kurth, and Robinson & Kelly Kurth: his five grandchildren; Samantha, JJ, Sierra, Anderson and Emery.
Robert was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Andrew E. Kurth and Cecile Mae Houck on July 6, 1931. He grew up in the Detroit area with his sisters Louisela and Marjorie, spending time in the summers on the family farm in Blissfield, Michigan. His family later moved to Iowa where he attended high school in Cedar Rapids. He graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1953. Upon graduating he pursued a degree from Princeton Seminary School to become an ordained Presbyterian Minister in 1957. He worked in Cranford, New Jersey for a couple of years as an assistant minister before enrolling at the University of Cincinnati to study for a Masters of Education. While in Cincinnati he met and married Carol M. Robinson in 1961 and soon after they moved to New Mexico, having been entranced by the open skies, wild horses and down-to-earth lifestyle. He began teaching in 1962 at Santa Fe High School at its downtown campus but spent the bulk of his career at Santa Fe Preparatory School from 1966 to 1996. In those thirty years, Bob Kurth served as not only a teacher, but also as college counselor, Assistant Head of School and interim Headmaster. He may be best known for his Humanities course that gave seniors an overview of the history of ideas that shaped Western Civilization. He will be remembered as an inspiring mentor who instilled a love of learning and the courage to challenge intellectual boundaries. May his legacy remind us all that the questions are often more important than the answers.
A memorial service to celebrate his life is planned for Sunday, May 13 at 4:00 pm at Santa Fe Prep School. In lieu of flowers or gifts to the family, please consider a donation to the Robert W. Kurth Endowment Scholarship at Santa Fe Prep School.