Jay Kurth of Green Lake, formerly of Beloit, WI, died Sunday morning, July 9 at Ripon Medical Center following complications from two strokes. He was 80 years old.
Jay was born in Beloit, WI to Jeannette Petersen and Gerald Kurth on June 21, 1943. He attended Beloit Public Schools, graduating from Beloit Memorial in 1961 and having lifelong friends reaching all the way back to his elementary days. He joined the Beloit Fire Department in 1973 and dedicated his life to serving his community in that capacity. He also served on the Paramedic Board for the State of Wisconsin, was on the Parks and Rec board for the town of Beloit and was actively involved in the building of Beloit’s Survive Alive House. He was a member of the Ripon Lions Club. He retired from the Fire Department in 1997, leaving a legacy of hard work and dedication that his son, David, continued when he also later joined the department.
Jay had two sons. Rob (Sally) and David (Karli) and was immensely proud of their accomplishments. He married Jan Levi in 1983 and added Sarah Levi as a daughter. He also had 9 grandchildren, Logan, Sydney, Kloe, Jayce, Mac, Easton, Matt, Cheyne, and Megan, each of whom was so very special to him. He is further survived by his sister, Sharon (Neil) Jensen, several nieces and nephews, many close friends and his four-legged companion, Annie. He was predeceased in death by his parents.
Jay and Jan were married more than 40 years and were lucky to have found a special love and companionship in one another. Aside from taking care of each other in their own ways, they enjoyed taking day trips to Door County or other nearby areas, exploring new roads and watching the countryside go by. They did all of their Christmas shopping all year long with Jay as the master wrapper. They had many years with a boat on Green Lake, sharing the beauty with visitors to the area. Jay drove Jan to work when it was winter and the ice was thick and was a wonderful assistant to her when she would quilt or set up quilt shows, especially for Dickens Christmas. The two of them were a great pair and Jan will have a gigantic hole in her heart without Jay by her side.
Throughout his life, Jay lived gregariously and with a great sense of humor. Those that know him best will cherish the memory of his laughter, stories and jokes. He loved to talk racing, NASCAR among others, and could frequently be found at Slinger or the Dells track on Friday nights during the summer. He worked with the safety team at the Madison International Speedway for over a decade, combining his life’s vocation of helping others with his passion for cars and racing.
Visitation for Jay will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home, 515 Mayparty Dr., Ripon, WI 54971.
Visitation for Jay will also be held on Friday, July 14, 2023 from 2:30 - 4:30 pm at Brian Mark Funeral Home, 1000 Inman Parkway, Beloit, WI 53511. Jay’s memorial service will take place at 4:30 pm at the funeral home in Beloit, with Rev. David Meding officiating. Memorials in his name may be directed to the Green Lake Animal Shelter, PO Box 86, Green Lake, WI 54941.
Fly free, Jay Bird! We will miss you!