Steven E. Kurtz
November 23, 1962 - December 27, 2010
Hi Normand -
I enjoyed reading about the wonderful foundation you created to honor, Steve. You are doing such a wonderful job of keeping his memory alive and preserving memories for the boys. Although with his strong presence and big personality, he would be a hard person to forget.
I always told Steve he was my angel because even though career-wise great things were starting to happen, I was in a very negative work situation, and it was taking it's toll on me personally. Steve could have easily been turned off by the baggage and negativity, but instead he "stepped up to the plate" (he always loved to make baseball references) in true Steve fashion. I finally felt like I had someone in my corner that really cared, had my best interest, and worked hard for me. Steve always faced any conflict or struggle head on, and with such confidence and determination. I only wish we'd met each other sooner in our professional careers. Aside from being the best possible manager I could have hoped for, Steve warmly took me in and opened his home and family to me. I know my parents always appreciated him and felt comforted knowing Steve was taking such great care of their daughter.It was so brilliant when Steve decided to send Susie on the road with me for one of my tours. I think he knew how well we would click and enjoy our time on the road together. It was so evident just how important his family was to him. In such a difficult business it was so refreshing to work with Steve beside me. He was my friend, and we had so much fun together. I'll never forget the time we were about to have a dinner meeting with a record label rep., that Steve warned me about. She had a reputation for over consumption & getting rowdy. Steve and I were both tired that evening and were not up for a long drawn out night. Poor Steve, by the end of the night he was wearing the woman's last drink! We laughed about it the whole way home, he was a great sport about it.
It always impressed me how easily Steve could strike up a conversation with anyone and was completely comfortable wether he was talking to a former gangster turned rapper, to the CEO's of major worldwide companies. I can still hear him in my head...he would start his sentences with "Look," or "Listen." I wonder if he knew he always had our attention already. Steve was also very encouraging to me with his "simple yet obvious" approach. Even today two things he said to me still ring through my ears every time I'm feeling a little unmotivated...Steve would say, "Hey this is work. We call it work 'cause that's what it is...we don't say I'm going to fun today...we say I'm going to work!" Or if I didn't feel like training that day he would tell me, "It's called a workout for a reason, it's not called a "funout!" I bet those two could come in handy one day for Max & Leo! ;)
During my time working with Steve, I never met anyone who didn't like him. He was so passionate about his family and the things that were important to him. He talked about his family, his boys, "Al" his parents & "Suze" all the time. I would always chuckle to myself how he would always reference everything to baseball, he sure loved his baseball! As I go about my day to day business I often stop and think to myself, "I wonder what Steve would've had to say about that," (because he always had a strong opinion), or " I wish I could ask Steve about this one," (because he was one of the smartest people I've known), or "I wish Steve could've seen this!" (because he was so fun and it was great sharing a laugh with him). Steve was one of the kindest, warmest, smartest, funniest, most passionate, fast talking, baseball loving guys I was privileged to know. He will is deeply missed, but never forgotten. I am so happy I was able to call him my friend.
Normand, I know you only asked for a quote or quick story, but I got to thinking about Steve and just couldn't stop typing. It was nice to sit and think about him for a while as I typed this. I know I sent you quite a lot, but hopefully you can take a bit from it and use it for your book. I will attach 2 pictures. I regret that I can only find 2 right now...I know there has to be more, I'm just not sure where else they could be, I looked everywhere. However I will definitely toast Steve with Take me out to the Ballgame on the 23rd!!
Best of luck with the foundation and I hope you and your family are able to feel some joy during these difficult months knowing how loved your son was, and how much support and love is surrounding his family.
Take good care.
From Jeff Kern
I’m headed to our 30th Reunion this weekend and I’m sure Steve’s name will come up a lot and produce both tears and smiles. I expect that both his home run prowess and his acerbic wit will get equal billing. I’m going to drive by Morrene Field one last time. When we went back for our tenth reunion, he made me pitch to him until he jacked one out for old time sake. The materials promoting this year’s reunion contained a nice memorial note as well."