Gilbert K. Lurz, 89
Gilbert K. Lurz of Valentine died peacefully at Pine View Samaritan Center on August 15, 2018 at the age of 89.
Gilbert is survived by his son Neal (Beth) of Leawood, KS, and daughter Diane Hoffman (Bryan) of Pierce. He also leaves three grandchildren, Nathan Lurz of Chicago, IL.; Megan Lurz of Leawood, KS; and Breane Hoffman of Pierce. He also has two surviving siblings, Herbert Lurz of Valentine and Ivan Lurz of Owasso, OK.
He is preceded in death by his wife Lucille, his parents, sister Lois Victor; brothers Howard Lurz, Joseph Lurz Jr. and Dwayne Lurz; and grandson Ryan Lurz.
Gilbert Lurz was born in 1929 in Valentine to Joseph, Sr. and Edith (Jaycox) Lurz. He graduated from Valentine High School in 1947. After high school and working on the family farm for a short time, he moved to Omaha to work for Western Electric (a division of what was then Bell Telephone) installing telephone equipment in business offices. He worked there from January, 1948 to December, 1950 when he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army at the time of the Korean Conflict. Basic training was in Atlanta, GA where he was assigned to the 805th Signal Depot Company. It became evident to his superiors that he understood electrical devices from his experience at Bell Telephone and mechanics from his farming background. He was sent to Fort Mama in New Jersey to radio repair school to work on Geiger counters, radio equipment, walkie-talkies, telephones and transmitters. In his last month there, he chose to return to his original company in Atlanta over an offered position as a radio lab instructor. A few weeks later the entire company was transferred to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX where he served as the lead in the base signal radio shop. He also worked at the Brooks Army Medical Hospital fixing radios for the hospitalized veterans. Gilbert’s greatest thrill during his service was setting up a PA system for and meeting General Dwight D. Eisenhower during his presidential campaign trail at the Alamo. He was honorably discharged from the Army in January 1953 after having reached the rank of Sergeant.
Gilbert married Lucille Carter in 1955, and acquired the family farm north of Valentine. He and Lucille loved farming and ranching, even through the long days, cold winters and hot summers. Gilbert especially liked haying season and enjoyed watching the baby calves play in the pastures in the springtime. His children remember him as a kind, but firm father. He was always extremely proud of his children and grandchildren, and strongly encouraged them to pursue their goals.
Gilbert was an accomplished self-taught craftsman and wood worker. He was a very generous individual who freely shared what he and Lucille created together, with their woodwork found in homes in the surrounding area.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, August 25 at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Valentine, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Cherry County Hospital Foundation at P.O. Box 410, Valentine NE 69201. Condolences can be sent to www.sandozfuneralhome.com. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of service arrangements.