In Memory of Kenneth Kurze (July 6, 1936 - February 24, 2021)

Kenneth A. Kurze (JYM 1956-57)
Kenneth A. Kurze (JYM 1956-57)

JYM is sad to announce the death of alum Kenneth Kurze (JYM 1956-57), who passed away this last winter. His wife, whom he met during his Junior Year and with whom he had four children and traveled the world together, deceased nearly two years prior in 2019.

Ken was one of three students from Brown University on the JYM program and was an active photographer for the group. Thanks to him and his documentation, we have a good handful of photographs from his class. His fellow classmate Ken Wiggins had just finished an article for the alumni newsletter featuring many of Kurze’s photographs when he sadly found out about Ken Kurze’s death. (Link to article).

While on the program Ken met his future wife Ingrid Fischer when they were snowed in at an Alpine hut on the Zugspitze in Germany. Ingrid was from Selb, Bavaria, and as a young adult taught religion in Munich.

The Brown University students, JYM 1956-57, in front of the JYM office on Amalienstra├če, Ken Kurze on the left
The Brown University students, JYM 1956-57,
in front of the JYM office on Amalienstraße,
Ken Kurze on the left

After JYM, Ken returned to the States where he finished his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1958 and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (1959), he decided to follow his dreams by joining the foreign service. Ken and Ingrid married in Rhode Island in 1960 and together enjoyed 30 years in the service of the United States. They went on assignments to seven different countries incl. India, Nepal, Australia, and France while they raised their children their four children, enjoying home leaves in both Cranston, RI, and Selb, Germany. Ken boasted fluency in German, French, and Hindi! 

Getting a head-start on his career
in the Foreign Service, Ken Kurze visited the NATO Conference in Bonn
with other JYM students in 1956-57! Photo by Ken

JYM is grateful to Ken who was active in keeping in contact with his cohort and their whereabouts and identifying classmates on old photographs. He had regular contact with the JYM office in Detroit and many conversations with Louise Speed over the years, who spoke delightfully of him!

Please read Ken Kurze’s full obituary at this online memorial and visit the tribute wall to write a message:

To read Ingrid Sonja (Fischer) Kurze’s obituary visit this online memorial:

Back to listing