Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dash Between: Charlie Kurtz, WWII veteran, Silver Star recipient

In 1944, George Patton, the legendary World War II general, awarded Charlie Kurtz the Silver Star for heroic actions during the Battle of St. Lo, France.

Charlie left the battlefield early, taking home the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and what remained of his wrist from a German shell explosion near Flavigny, France.

Read about "The Dash Between" May 7, 1923, when Charlie was born Charles E. Marino in Chicago, and March 5, 2010, when the Chatham Township, Ohio, farmer and former resident of Lakewood, Ohio, died at the Medina (Ohio) Village Retirement Community at age 86, in a story published the Medina County Gazette on Monday, April 5, 2010.

Here are some photos showing Charlie at various phases in his life plus this 1952 photo of his aunt, Marie Sly, with several W. W. Sly Co. employees. She took over operations of the company after her husband, Wilfred C. Sly, was killed by payroll robbers on Dec. 31, 1920.

The murder of her husband is often cited in histories of crime in Cleveland. Read Dan Chabek's account on Lakewood Lore Online.

Charlie Kurtz farmed in Chatham Township, Ohio, for 40 years.

In his later years, Charlie and his wife, Polly, took up tap dancing and performed for audiences at nursing homes and festivals.

Below: Rose Marie Toolis and Charles E. Kurtz had this photo taken in the late 1940s to announce their upcoming wedding.

Charlie Kurtz, far right, owned, bred, boarded and trained horses for harness racing, including Greenacres Johnny, shown after winning a race at Scioto Downs in this 1983 Barry E. Conrad photo.

This "Dash Between" column was published on on April 6, 2010.

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