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A Tribute to Warren Philharmonic Orchestra Founder
John W. Kurtz

John W. Kurtz

In 1965 Attorney John W. Kurtz became the founder and incorporator of the Warren Symphony Society, now known as the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra. Kurtz has served the Warren-area community since 1952 as a scholarly and distinguished attorney and as a patron of area arts organizations.

In the 1950s Kurtz founded and served as director of the Warren Civic Chorus, also known as the Warren Community Chorus, annually presenting Handel's Messiah. In 1972 Kurtz assisted in forming the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County. He initiated the monetary drive and directed the installation of chimes installed in the dome of the Trumbull County Courthouse and supervised their musical operation for many years.

Kurtz directed area church choirs for 39 years, last serving as director of the Living Lord Lutheran Church choir for 12 years. As an avid traveler he led choir tours to Europe on at least 12 occasions.

Besides his devotion to the arts, Kurtz has devoted considerable time to local community affairs as a member of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, a member and former president of the Howland Board of Education, and a member of the YMCA board of trustees and lay physical education instructor. He is one of the founders and a former trustee of the Warren Olympic Club. He has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Trumbull County Chapter of the American Red Cross and SCOPE.  


After graduating from Middletown (Ohio) High School, Kurtz served in the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division, 274th Armored Field Artillery in Europe during World War II. He served under General George S. Patton, achieving the rank of technical sergeant. Upon his discharge Kurtz entered University of Cincinnati, graduating in 1950 with a Juris Doctor degree from the College of Law. In 1952 he began practicing law in Warren as a partner with Attorney Carl Thomas and later become owner and president of the Trumbull County Abstract Company and issuing agent for Old Republic Title Insurance Company.  


Kurtz was born in Middletown on April 22, 1926, and died at Sebring's Crandall Medical Center on December 10, 2014. He is survived by four daughters, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. John and his wife, Mary Lou Shubert, were together 54 years until her death in 2004. A memorial service is scheduled for December 28, 2014, 2 p.m., at Central Christian Church in Warren. 

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