David H. Kurtz, a long-time former resident of Weston, WV passed away peacefully on Monday, June 24, 2019 surrounded by his loving daughters. Born July 19, 1931 in Weston to Kenneth S. Kurtz and Virginia Reay Kurtz, “Dave” lived a full life during his 87 years throughout a variety of experiences. He was preceded in death by his parents and the love of his life, Pauline Whelan Kurtz, with whom he celebrated 63 years of marriage before her passing in 2015. He is survived by his two daughters, Constance (“Connie”) S. Kurtz and Laura (Kurtz) Kuhns and son-in-law Don Kuhns; his only grandchild, Sarah Boyd Fallon; his great-grandchildren, Abigail Knopp, Emily Fallon, and Josh Fallon, all residing in North Central WV; and his only brother, Kenneth R. Kurtz of Lexington, KY. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and Grand-dogs.
To send flowers in memory of David Harry Kurtz, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Always athletic, Dave played baseball and basketball at Weston High School, graduating in 1949, and also played both sports while attending West Virginia University to study business. While still a teenager, he obtained permission from his widowed mother to race stock cars in the 1940’s, having a storied career during the pre-NASCAR era, racing dirt tracks around the tri-state area, including Clarksburg, Pennsboro, Shinnston, and Kerens near Elkins, where in 2017, he was inducted into the Elkins Motor Speedway Wall of Legends. He was the only surviving driver from opening night at Elkins in the 1950’s.
While still a newlywed, Dave enlisted in the US Army, where he served in Germany in the signal corps and played baseball for the army’s traveling team. Pauline joined him in Germany where they enjoyed numerous adventures. He received military recognition for his expert marksmanship and became interested in firearms, leading to his life-long love of collecting and selling/trading guns. He and Pauline became active in skeet, earning numerous state and other championships, and helped to found the Piney Ridge Skeet Club. He was inducted into the WV Skeet Shooter’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
He was owner and operator of Dave’s Sport Shop in Weston (“Buy-Sell-Trade”) beginning in the early 1960’s-1985, but still managed to find time to join a local bowling league, fish, and golf throughout his beloved WV--and even take a few fishing trips to Canada with his buddies. He was a founder of Deerfield Country Club near Jackson’s Mill. He and Pauline also loved to camp while fishing, and later enjoyed salt water fishing while wintering in Marco Island, FL. After a brief “retirement”, he and Pauline operated Eli’s Restaurant in Weston, which was a local favorite for nearly 10 years. A lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, he continued to collect and trade firearms and was an avid coin collector well into his “retirement”, managing Mountain Traders Gun & Pawn Shop until health issues forced him into his final retirement in recent years.
During his relocation to Morgantown following Pauline’s passing, he was able to enjoy his beloved WVU Mountaineer sports close by with other fans, some of whom remembered Dave from his racing days (“No. 99” and the “Grey Ghost”). Staying active, he enjoyed his final years as much as possible, still beating his daughters and others at pool, putting and chipping golf balls, and playing cards with new and old friends.
He loved to share happy memories of his racing days among other activities, and mostly appreciated the loving company of his family and many dear friends. At 6’4” (plus), Dave’s lanky frame fit his larger than life personality and kind heart. He will be sorely missed by his surviving family and friends, who are grateful for their time with him and happy that God has reunited him with Pauline.
Family and friends will gather at Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home 730 N. Main Avenue Weston on Friday, June 28, 2019 from 1-2 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Friday at 2:00 p.m. from the Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home chapel with Reverend David Krum officiating. Interment will follow services in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens of Jane Lew, WV. Full military honors will be provided by the United States Army and the Lewis County Honor Guard. On-line condolences and life stories in memory of Dave may be expressed at hardman-palettifuneralhome.com.
Hardman-Paletti Funeral Home of Weston is honored to serve the family of Patriot David Harry Kurtz.