Eye on Education

Dr. Daniel Kurtz, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Emeritus of Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry Passes Away

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Daniel Kurtz, OD, PhD, passed away on June 8 at his home surrounded by his children after a battle with cancer. He was a devoted father, educator and friend, known for his wry (often corny) humor and skeptical mind.

Born in Charleston, W. Va., Dan graduated from Oberlin College and served in the Navy for four years before completing his PhD at the University of Michigan, followed by his doctor of optometry at the New England College of Optometry. Dr. Kurtz later joined the faculty and earned tenure there, contributing through his dedicated teaching, scholarship, clinical care and service. He served as the president of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists; he was a principal investigator in the landmark NEI-funded Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial; and he co-authored the widely used textbook Clinical Procedures for Ocular Examination. Dr. Kurtz helped found an optometry clinic at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, and he lectured throughout Africa, South America and Europe. In 2007, Dr. Kurtz joined the founding team at Western University of Health Sciences to establish the College of Optometry as the first associate dean of academic affairs.

Dan’s pride and joy were his children, three with Nancy Coffin Kurtz and one with Lynne A. Silvers. In Southern California, Dan fostered his love for succulent plants, xeriscaping his front lawn with aloes and converting his backyard to a cherished “oasis.” He was an active member of the Democratic Club of Rancho Cucamonga and loved debating politics and social issues. A staunch fan of the Boston Red Sox, Dan also remained loyal to his first team, the Dodgers, whom he followed from Brooklyn to L.A. Dan was preceded in death by his parents Abraham and Rose Kurtz and beloved wife Lynne Silvers. He is survived by brother Peter and Marcia Kurtz, children Esther Kurtz and Ben Dicke, Adam Kurtz and Ashley Richardson, Nathan Kurtz and Michael Jao, and Kyra Silvers, as well as nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (https://ocrahope.org/) or to your local chapter of the Democratic Party.

A public memorial was held for Dr. Kurtz on August 2 at the Western University of Health Sciences Health Education Center in Pomona, Ca.


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