A beloved Throggs Neck community activist passed away recently.
Longtime Schuyler Hill Civic Association president and Community Board 10 member Robert Kurz passed away on Friday, August 16. He was 77.
Born in 1941, Bob lived on Pennyfield Avenue and Fern Place for 50 years, not far from the SHCA’s waterfront clubhouse located at Mitchell Place.
After graduating from City College he taught printing and woodworking at an Eastchester school for 30 years.Bob held many popular events as president of the Schuyler Hill Civic Association, including holiday parties and the organization’s annual Summer Olympics and beach cleanups Labor Day beach closing competitions.
The summer olympics included running and swimming races, hula hoop challenges, potato sack and three-legged races, egg throwing, cupcake decorating, pie eating and watermelon eating contests. He was the SHCA president for 30 years.
It was not uncommon to find him at Restaurant Depot or various box stores purchasing the supplies and food items for the upcoming weekend activities.
During his presidency, the biggest threat to the club’s existence came when the city started to dramatically escalate property tax on not-for-profit beach clubs. To counter this drastic revenue challenge he reversed the club’s declining membership by scouting out new members from adjoining communities that did not have the amnities that SHCA had to offer and almost single-handedly, relying on a small army of volunteers, turned the off-season party room rentals into a booming income-generating resource.
“He was well loved by the neighborhood - he would give you the shirt off his back,” said Anthony Romeo, vice president of the Schuyler Hill Civic Association, who knew Kurz for two decades. “He was instrumental in the success of the (Schuyler Hill) Civic Association, and just a great man.”
“He is was such a loving - such a caring individual,” said Laurie Conception, who was one of Kurz’ best friends. He loved the (SHCA) as much as anything - he made improving the association his mission. He was also a great neighbor and always strived to make his community better.”
“Bob was a steady influence on the community board,” said Joseph Russo, CB10 chairman, who knew Kurz for 15 years. “This is a major loss for the community - and he will be missed greatly.”
“He loved everybody in the community - he just wanted everyone to have a good time and be happy,” said Marie Christian, volunteer at the Schuyler Hill Civic Association.
Bob’s physical health had deteriorated over the past five years and he required an electric scooter to get from place-to-place.
Bob’s wake was held at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home. Visitations took place on Tuesday and the service was held on Wednesday, August 21. He was interred at St. Raymond’s Cemetery. Thursday, August 22 would have marked Bob’s 78th birthday. He is survived by his two daughters, Debbie and Michelle. Bob’s wife, Rosemary, passed away in 2018.