James Maxwell Kurck


Jim Kurch, 1953-2012

My old high school friend Jim Kurck passed away in August.  Jim had suffered from Type 1 diabetes since the age of 9, and the disease finally caught up with him, wreaking his body and his brilliant mind.  I am deeply saddened. 

I met Jim at Hoover High School in Fresno, where we both grew up, and we became good friends.  We played together in the marching band where Jim played the snare drum.  He was also active in the jazz band, as I recall.  Jim and I were nerds and we shared classes in chemistry, physics and calculus.  We went our own ways after high school, though I did see Jim freqently on school breaks throughout our college and graduate school years, then rather infrequently thereafter. 

Jim died alone in the home he grew up in.  Complications of the diabetes increasingly relegated him to a wheelchair for the last decade or so of his life and he became increasingly dependent on the help of his friends.  Two sets of friends as it turned out:  his high school friends who had largely remained in Fresno and his friends from a Bay Area international folk dancing group called Zagora.  Sadly, the two groups didn't meet until after Jim's death.

Jim Kurck and the pocker gang in Fresno. Jim Kurck and folk dancing.

Pictured above-left, Jim with some of the Fresno high school gang who met for a weekly poker game.  Above-right Jim plays drums with Zagora.  The photo of Jim at the top of this page and the photo of the Zagora folk dance band are courtesy of David Mostardi.  David's eulogy to Jim can be found here.  The photo of the Fresno poker group is from Keith Pretzer.  I took the liberty of cleaning up all the images in Adobe Lightroom.