Cover photo for Arthur J. Kurtz's Obituary
Arthur J. Kurtz Profile Photo
1919 Arthur 2014

Arthur J. Kurtz

January 3, 1919 — May 18, 2014

Arthur James Kurtz, 95, of Elizabethtown, PA, passed away May 18, 2014. Preceding him in death were his daughter Nancy J. Harris, his sister Fern L. Weiss, and his grandson Richard Kurtz. Surviving him is D. Jane Kurtz (Dunkle), his wife of 76 years; his sister Ann Morrison of Lakewood, NJ; his son Richard Allen of Sun City, CA; grandsons Todd M. and Jeffrey A. of Sun City, CA; Scott D. Harris (Gina) of Dallas, TX; and Steven R. Harris (Danielle) of Harrisburg, as well as seven great-grandchildren: Matthew Kurtz; Jason Ronald, Michael Frank, and Devin Steven Harris of Harrisburg, PA; as well as Jeremy Arthur, Justin Charles, and Jordan Marie Harris of Dallas, TX.
Born into a family of German immigrants, Arthur was named for his own grandfather. He attended public schools in Harrisburg and often drove trucks for his family’s moving and storage business in his spare time. He married D. Jane Kurtz (Dunkle), whom he met in high school.

After being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944, Arthur served in Europe with the 44th Infantry and participated in extensive combat operations, earning three battle stars. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart after being wounded in action. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain after serving many years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Arthur became the President/CEO of the family’s moving business, Kurtz Mayflower, Inc., after returning from the war and the death of his own father in 1954. He retired from work in 1972.
Often active in community affairs, Arthur formerly held membership in the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce, the Harrisburg Executive Club, Kiwanis, and Rotary International. He was a member of Epworth and Calvary United Methodist Churches during his life and served in many capacities at both, from adult Sunday school teacher to Trustee. He is currently a member of Sell Chapel at The Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown, PA.

During his retirement, he became enthusiastically involved in nearly all branches of Pennsylvania Freemasonry. Arthur asked to join Robert Burns Lodge No. 464 and was raised to the 3rd Degree there (1950), eventually ascending to the office of Worshipful Master (1967). Arthur was also a member of the Scottish and York Rites, respectively, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and the National Sojourners. Thrice Potent Master, Harrisburg Lodge of Perfection, Valley of Harrisburg, he was coroneted an Honorary Sovereign Grand Inspector 33rd degree on September 27, 1978 in Milwaukee, WI.
He also became active in the Shrine (Zembo Temple), serving as the Zembo Luncheon Club President (1976-77) and Potentate (1983). Arthur was appointed District Deputy Grand Master (District 2, 1973-79). He was elevated to R.W. Junior Grand Warden in 1982 and eventually served as Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania (1988-89), the highest office in Pennsylvania Freemasonry, once occupied by Benjamin Franklin himself. Perhaps the greatest legacy of his tenure was the establishment of the independent living community at the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown, PA. While in Grand Lodge, he served on the Masonic Homes Committee for eight years, eventually choosing to reside there himself.

Arthur is the recipient of many Masonic awards of recognition, notably the aforementioned 33rd s Cross of Honor, Chapel of the Bronze Medallion, the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Medal (1990), and most recently the Medal for Distinguished Service from the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite (2011).
Arthur was a man of great honor, faith, personal integrity, thoughtfulness and humor. He loved and cared deeply for his wife and his family, and never ceased to pass along to us pearls of wisdom accumulated during his amazing life and from his many accomplishments. He was well thought of by nearly everyone who had the privilege of knowing him, especially by his family, who will miss him dearly but remember him as an inspiration to us all.
He will be buried with military honors 10:30 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Friends will be received from 12:30 pm until 1:30 pm Wednesday at Sell Chapel, Masonic Village where Masonic Services will begin at 1:30 followed by a Memorial Service with the Rev. A. Preston Van Deursen officiating.  A reception will be held after the end of the memorial service.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Sell Chapel, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, 17022 or the Masonic Learning Center for Children, 2701 N 3rd St, Harrisburg,  17110.
Kimmel Funeral Home, Harrisburg, is handling arrangments.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

Annville, PA

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Visitation

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Masonic Service

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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