On April 12, 2020, Mary Lou (Hedgcock) Kurtz passed away at age 89 at home with her husband, Kenneth C Kurtz, caring for her. Their love was felt until her last breath.
Mary Lou and Ken are both Emeritus members of UUCW. Ken was the architect for both the 1960s and the 1980s phases of our church building, and Mary Lou contributed many, many volunteer hours to the church.
Mary Lou was born on July 8, 1930 in Springfield, IL to John and Virginia (McCaskill) Hedgcock. She earned her degree in Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and went on to earn her Master’s in Specialized Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and spent most of her career (25 years) teaching in the Wauwatosa, WI public schools. Married on December 19, 1953, Ken and Mary Lou did a fabulous job raising two children, Wendell and Erin.
Mary Lou loved children and easily engaged them in learning, no matter the challenges faced. Her talent was understanding and sensitivity to people, particularly her third-grade students and her husband. She was frugal and made a wonderful life for her family on a limited budget. Children loved Mary Lou as well, always seeking her out at church. And anyone who needed a place to gather for a holiday or needed a warm meal was invited into her home. Whether Mary Lou knew you for years or just a few hours, you were welcome. She always fought for the underdog. She was a firm supporter of Planned Parenthood and Habitat for Humanity, and you could always find Mary Lou on the front lines partnering with these great organizations.
She spent many hours working on puzzles and crosswords. If her iPad puzzle programs were not functioning properly, this was an issue that required immediate resolution. Sewing was a passion of Mary Lou’s – not! In fact, when the sewing machine came out, everyone ran for the hills as it would be just minutes before the language became rude!
With Ken, Mary Lou took several trips to Europe, spent a few weeks every year at their timeshare in Door County, WI and had multiple extended living experiences in New Zealand enjoying the beauty of the country and its people. She made many life-long friends.
While Mary Lou swore she “never ate desserts,” she made a mean and labor-intensive carrot cake and taught her grandchildren the difference between ‘sufficient’ and ‘enough’ ice cream.
She was a voracious reader – so much so that she wrote down all books she read and took this list to library book sales to ensure she did not purchase books she already read! Mary Lou loved Jane Austin and especially the 1996 version of Pride and Prejudice with ‘dreamy-eyed’ Colin Firth starring.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her father, mother, brother, Jack Hedgcock, and nephew, David Hedgcock. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth, two children, Wendell (Leah) Kurtz and Erin (Tim) Michael, brothers, Bob (Joan) Hedgcock and Frank (Mary) Hedgcock, six grandchildren, Austin, Preston, Lawson, Kelin, Brinna, Liam, three great-grandchildren, Elodie, Soren, Mikaela, and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be scheduled for a future date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, Mary Lou invites you to donate in her name to Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Fe or Planned Parenthood. Cards are welcome and appreciated at this time to her husband Ken Kurtz, 2400 Legacy Court, Apt. 360, Santa Fe, NM 87507