Edna Mae Kurtz "Kurtzie" Gonzalez

Birth Date: 
Wednesday, March 13, 1929
Date of Passing: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Edna Mae Kurtz (Kurtzie) Gonzalez died peacefully of natural causes February 23, 2021 at her daughter Martha’s home in Wooster, OH. She was comforted by family and friends at her side through her final days.

Kurtzie was born March 13, 1929, in Osage, Iowa, by Luther Kurtz (1890-1967) and Marguerite K. Kurtz (Lewis) (1900-1932). Kurtzie was predeceased by her three sisters, Margaret Kurtz (1924-1925), Dorothea Keen (1922-1987) and Frances Miller (1926- 2011).

Kurtzie is survived by her six children: Luis L. Gonzalez Jr., M.D. (Ann, Scottsdale, AZ), Steven M. Gonzalez, J.D. (Ruby, Houston, TX), Mark S. Gonzalez, M.D. (Trisha, New Orleans, LA), Martha King-Smith (Pascal, Wooster, OH), Christine M. Gonzalez (Canton, OH) and David A. Gonzalez, J.D. (Victoria, Healdsburg, CA). Kurtzie was close to each of her 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Kurtzie grew up in the farming community of Olney, Illinois, during the Great Depression. She graduated from Olney Township High School class of 1946, where she served in the music activities club and student council.

She followed her sisters’ footsteps into the profession of nursing and completed her training at the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield, Illinois, Class of 1950. It was during nursing school that she adopted the name Kurtzie, which she preferred to her birth name, Edna.

Upon graduating from nursing school Kurtzie moved to Galveston, Texas with three nursing school classmates to begin her nursing career. It was there that she met and married Luis Leonel Gonzalez, M.D. (1928-2014), who was a medical student at University of Texas Medical School, Galveston.

After Luis completed medical school, they moved to Northern California, where Luis completed internship training in San Mateo and Oakland. Luis selected a surgical residency at Cincinnati General Hospital, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the couple settled and started their family in the Mt. Lookout/Hyde Park neighborhoods.

Kurtzie raised six children ranging 14 years in age between her oldest and youngest sons. She raised the children with love, affection and respect. She encouraged participation and success in academics and athletics for her children through grade school and high school, including St. Xavier High School, Purcell, Walnut Hills and Ursuline Academy. Kurtzie supported each of her children throughout their college and professional pursuits at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, University of Houston, Case Western Reserve University, University of Texas Medical BranchHouston, University of San Francisco and other programs.

Kurtzie was a lover of animals and permitted her children’s desire for pets of all kinds: Dobermans, German Shepherds, anacondas, boa constrictors, piranhas, iguanas, cats and everything in between.

In addition to raising the family, Kurtzie was an active volunteer for many causes. She worked with hospice in its formative years at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, served as a librarian and with fund-raising efforts at the Springer School and was active with SAE fraternity Minerva Club. She was a leader in the restoration of the Ault Park Grand Pavilion and its surrounding gardens, which to this day serves as a venue for weddings, business, social and community events and was honored as an Emeritus Trustee of the Ault Park Advisory Council.

Starting in the late 1970’s, Kurtzie learned the science and art of rose gardening with particular interest. She always had plenty of children and their friends to recruit for rose gardening at her home on Erie Avenue and at the old rose gardens at Ault Park.

Kurtzie will be remembered for her commitment to the Catholic Church including her dedication as the head librarian at Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church in Carefree, AZ.

Having assimilated to Luis’ Mexican roots and his family cuisine, she became a student of Luis’s sisters in the preparation of authentic Mexican dishes then unheard of in Cincinnati: tortillas de harina, arroz con pollo, tacos de maiz, frijoles refritos and chorizo con huevos.

Kurtzie loved to entertain for the sake of itself. She and Luis hosted lively dinner parties with the Reds baseball players during the days of the Big Red Machine. In 1975, she was credited for contributing to a Cincinnati Reds World Series win over the Boston Red Sox by serving key members of the Big Red Machine a Mexican feast in her home the night before the game.

After moving to Carefree, AZ, she continued to host dinners and parties for her children and grandchildren. Kurtzie passed her love for entertaining and cooking skills to each of her children and their spouses. She will be remembered for the special love she extended to her family, her children’s friends and countless memories of good times at the family home on Erie Avenue.

A private family “Celebration of Life” will be held in lieu of a service.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com


A private family “Celebration of Life” will be held in lieu of a service.


A life well lived and her spirit lives on through her family members. A fabulous person, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Edna enriched so many lives. God bless her and her family.

We send our love and sincere condolences to Chris an her entire loving family.
Peace be with You.

Kurttzie was a lovely and gracious friend, mother and grandmother and a delight to be with. We consider it a pleasure and a privilege to have known and loved her. Kurtzie will be greatly missed and remembered by her Gonzales-King-Smith family and friends in Wooster and beyond.

I was saddened to learn of Kurtzie's passing. I enjoyed working with her from the founding of Ault Park Advisory Council to her move to Arizona. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.

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