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Ellinwood Rotary names Kurtz Distinguished Citizen of Year
USAF veteran and food bank volunteer a ‘ray of sunshine’
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The Ellinwood Rotary Club President Mark Cook (right) introduced Lloyd Kurtz (left) as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Tuesday night at a banquet held at Ellinwood’s Grove Park clubhouse. Kurtz served in the US Air Force, and had a distinguished banking career. He has volunteered with the Ellinwood Hospital and Ellinwood Hospital Foundation, the Ellinwood Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and with his church.

 ELLINWOOD — Tuesday night, members of the Ellinwood Rotary Club turned out at the Grove Park clubhouse to recognize and honor the latest in a long list of distinguished citizens. Rotary President Mark Cook welcomed the gathering which included club members, past honorees and dignitaries. He then introduced the man of the hour, Lloyd Kurtz, whose life, he said, has been one of service to the country, the community, and to his church. 

Lloyd was born and raised in Texas, Cook said. He served his country in the United States Air Force, and later enjoyed a distinguished banking career which eventually brought him and his wife, Jo, to Ellinwood where he served as vice president of the Peoples Bank. He later became the bank president. 

When he retired from banking, Lloyd became the business manager for USD 355 Ellinwood. 

“Over the years Lloyd has become a blessing to the Elinwood community,” Cook said. “Ellinwood is fortunate to have the hospital thanks to folks like Lloyd.”

He served on both the Ellinwood Hospital Board and the Ellinwood Hospital Foundation Board.

“Lloyd has helped to fight hunger here in our community by volunteering for the local food bank,” Cook went on. “Residents of the community enjoy much needed food at home because volunteers like Lloyd serve in the Meals on Wheels program. Lloyd also drives the senior citizen van.” 

Lloyd and Jo have been faithful members of the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Ellinwood. They have served in many ways. Lloyd has served as the treasurer, and presently as the president of the church council. His attention to details, as well as his encouragement of others help the church to carry out its many programs. He is a backer of many community programs and projects benefiting the area as well. 

“Meeting Lloyd is like encountering a ray of sunshine,” he said. 

Kurtz accepted the honor, paraphrasing a quote by President John F. Kennedy about service to one’s country. 

“It applies to our country, our communities, our relationships and everything else,” he said.  “you get out of something what you put into it.  I have been blessed.  Thank you very much.”

The Kurtz’s have two daughters and four grandchildren. Toni Howard lives in Basehor where she works for the school district. Granddaughter Madison Howard, attends optometry school in St. Louis, Mo., and grandson Zach Howard is a sophomore at Kansas State University. Daughter Shelly Meyer works at Head Start in Hutchinson. Granddaughter Ashland Meyer is a junior at Buhler High School and Wade Meyer, his grandson, is a freshman at Buhler High School.