Obituaries : * Oscar E. Kurt; Retired Scientific Consultant


Oscar Edward Kurt, a scientific consultant who traveled the world before retiring in Ojai, has died after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 87.

Raised on a family farm near Bellevue, Iowa, Kurt graduated from Columbia College--now Loras College--in Dubuque when he was 18. Kurt earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics from the University of Illinois in 1929, when he was 21.

“He was very smart, always very practical,” said his brother, Msgr. Edgar Kurt. “Back then, you were supposed to think about things.”


After leaving academia, Kurt moved all over the country to work for various corporations, including Eastman Kodak Co., U. S. Rubber Co. and the Ethyl Corp.

In 1955, Kurt established a scientific consulting service, specializing in automotive tire accidents.

“When someone came to him with a case of death or injury involving a vehicle that had been in an accident, he would find out whether the tire was defective,” his brother said. “He would testify in court as a professional [witness].”

Based in Troy, Mich., Kurt ran his consulting business for 35 years until he turned 82.

“He was the kind of person who liked to work,” Edgar Kurt said. “He wanted to remain active as long as he could.”

Throughout his professional life, Kurt traveled widely, including to Africa, the South Pacific, the former Soviet Union and Europe.

Kurt decided to retire to Ojai in 1990, where his brother said he enjoyed making friends with other retired people.


He is preceded in death by his wife, three brothers and two sisters. In addition to his brother Edgar, he is survived by his son, Thomas H. Kurt of Los Angeles; two daughters, Martha Fast of Ojai and Carolyn Leigh of San Diego, and a grandson, Thomas C. Kurt of Largo, Fla.

A memorial Mass will be held at 3 p.m. today at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ojai, with Msgr. Edgar Kurt and Father Patrick Keane officiating. Kurt will be buried beside his wife in Forester Township Cemetery near Port Sanilac, Mich.

Arrangements are being handled by Clausen Funeral Home, Ojai.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Livingston Visiting Nurse Assn., 1996 Eastman Ave., Ventura, Calif. 93003.