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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Ronald A. Kurtz, friend to the College

  Ronald A. Kurtz passed away, aged 89, on Nov. 20, 2021, with his wife, Carol Strongin Kurtz ’57, by his side.

Ron graduated from MIT in 1954 with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Management. Following service in the Air Force, he returned to MIT earning a second Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Metallurgy (now called Materials Science). He was grateful to MIT for the exceptional education he received. 

   After spending two years at Nuclear Metals. Inc., Ron joined Kulite Tungsten Corporation as an Engineer, and over his thirty-five-year tenure with the company, he played a number of roles, ultimately becoming President and CEO. 

  Ron considered the artistic exposure he received while at MIT equally as important as his academic achievements. Ron’s lifelong interest in the intersection of art and science began as an undergraduate. From his dorm room at Baker House, Ron watched the construction of the Kresge Auditorium. He was struck by the combination of engineering and aesthetics as Eero Saarinen’s vision came alive. This fascination led Ron to the Arts; he founded and operated Commerce Graphics, representing the works of renowned artists including Bernice Abbott and Arnold Newman. 

In addition to photography, Ron’s other passions included Fly Fishing, spending time on the Twin Lakes of Salisbury, Connecticut, travelling, Baseball, football, and spending time with his grandchildren. 

Ron was committed to making the world a better place. He found ways to have a positive impact, investing his time and energy into a variety of causes. One of Ron’s proudest moments was being elected to serve as a member of the MIT Corporation in 1994 and was later elected a life member. As a member of the MIT Corporation, Ron helped create the MIT MITES program that provided exposure to STEM classes for underserved high school students. 

Ron and Carol were married in 1958 and they shared a wonderful 63 years together. Ron is survived by his children David (and Shelly) Kurtz, Jillian (and Jeremy) Temkin, Danny (and Wendy McKee) Kurtz, and his grandchildren Alisa (and Trevor) Gilbert, Nicole Kurtz, Jake (and Madelyn) Temkin, Andrew Kurtz, and Max Temkin. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider honoring Ron through a contribution to the MIT Scholarship Fund, Doctors without Borders, or Center for Food Action.