MARQUETTE, MI. – Barry Louis Kurcz, age 89 of Marquette, entered eternal life at Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming on October 8, 2017.
Barry was born January 19, 1928 in Iron Mountain, MI to Charles and Julia (Sabinski) Kurcz. Barry was the youngest of eight children. He received his early and high school education at Iron Mountain Junior High School and St. Lawrence College Seminary, Mt. Calvary, WI. He entered the Capuchin Order in 1947 and continued his studies at Huntington, IN: Mary Immaculate Friary, Garrison, N.Y. and at Marathon, WI.
On Sept 8, 1955, Barry was ordained a Capuchin priest by Bishop John Treacy of La Crosse, WI. He received his B.A. degree in philosophy from Mary Immaculate Friary, Garrison, N.Y. As a Capuchin Priest, he served at various missions in Montana, Detroit, Wisconsin, and also was Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital in Marquette, MI. After much discernment, he eventually left the priesthood in 1970.
Barry married Helen Quinn and began a new career as Nursing Home Administrator in Florida. He was a social worker for the State of Ohio and was Counselor at St. Charles Boys Home in Milwaukee, WI. He spent eleven years teaching at Hearthside Rehabilitation Home for disadvantaged adults also in Milwaukee.
For his outstanding community volunteer service, he was recognized as being Positively Milwaukee in 1999.
Barry received many special community awards in cities where he lived for his outstanding dedication and service to others. In 2006, Barry was honored to receive the Claude Pepper Award by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as its outstanding senior citizen that year. Barry also received the Marquette County Senior Volunteer Award for outstanding service to the community.
Barry was member of St. Peter Cathedral, was an active member of Msgr. Nolan B. McKevitt Council 689 Knights of Columbus, volunteer member of RSVP and Bay Cliff. Barry also volunteered for 14 years at the U.P. Health System Hospital Information Desk.
He happily gave himself to others and loved to sing Karaoke. He performed over 40 singing events per year at hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, and the Veteran’s hospital. He called his singing performance Barry-Oke.
Barry’s hobbies included landscape paintings, gardening, and biking around Presque Isle.
Barry loved and lived by the following quote: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to those less fortunate, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Barry is survived by his wife of 47 years, Helen Quinn Kurcz and his 42 year old son Daniel Charles (Jennifer) Kurcz. Barry has three grandchildren, Hudson (8), Quinn (6), and Parker (4). Barry’s sisters in-law include, Marion (Ed) Boyle of Atwater, CA, Katherine Quinn, Barbara (Joseph) Levandoski, Frances (Robert) Dupras, and Carol (Gerald) Larson-King, all of Marquette, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his mother, father, and seven siblings. He will be dearly missed by all his family and friends who knew and loved him.
The Kurcz family will greet relatives and friends on Sunday, October 15th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Canale- Tonella Funeral Home in Marquette where a parish prayer service will take place at 5:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Peter Cathedral on Monday, October 16 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Msgr. Michael Steber officiating.
A luncheon will be served in the church hall immediately after the Mass with burial to follow at the Holy Cross Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Barry’s nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the Bay Cliff Health Camp, PO Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808 in Barry’s memory.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com.