Mourning the loss of Wolf but celebrating his long, rich life are his wife of 60 years, Monica, and their three daughters and their families: Malin & Keith Clark w. Julia (Liam & baby Owen), Emma and Max; Åsa & David Kachan w. Maia, Gabrielle, and Elliot; Ebba Kurz & Jaideep Bains w. Mika and Linnea. Wolf was very proud of them all, and at a family gathering shortly before his death he told them “I love you all very, very, very much” - beautiful last words before he passed away peacefully.
Wolf was born in Innsbruck, Austria, the only child of Adolf and Antonia Kurz. As a child, he survived the bombings and other hardships of WWII. Following high school, Wolf pursued university studies in microbiology in Innsbruck and Vienna and after conducting doctoral research at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, received his PhD from the University of Vienna in 1958. He continued his research in Stockholm where he met Monica. In 1963, Wolf accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Research Council’s Prairie Regional Laboratory (now Plant Biotechnology Institute) in Saskatoon and he and Monica set off on their first Canadian adventure. Following two years back in Sweden, Wolf (who self- identified as a ‘prairie gopher’) happily accepted a permanent position at the NRC and immigrated with his young family to Saskatoon in 1967. Wolf had a very successful and fulfilling scientific career with many opportunities to travel and engage with scientific colleagues internationally. Wolf attained the rank of Principal Research Officer with the NRC and retired in 1995.
Enthusiastic about life and keen to learn new things, Wolf engaged in many hobbies over his lifetime. From his teens, he was a mountaineer, downhill skier, and a mycologist who enjoyed foraging for wild mushrooms. In Sweden, Wolf became a licensed skipper and piloted his boat in Stockholm’s archipelago. Later, Wolf was a hobby farmer, and with the help of friends built a log cabin at which he enjoyed both periods of solitude and gatherings. He kept bees, brewed beer, enjoyed wine tasting, listened to jazz music, hunted and fished, assisted with cattle branding, and built a cedar-strip canoe to mention some of his activities. In the 1970s, Wolf was part of the ParticipACTION initiative to encourage citizens of Saskatoon to become more physically active. Following retirement, he greatly enjoyed two summers spent in the Arctic volunteering with the Canadian Wildlife Services studying geese & foxes. Wolf loved Canada and all it had to offer.
Wolf was a train enthusiast from childhood and in his later years energetically pursued this hobby with like-minded friends in the Railroad Modellers’ Club. His scratch built models won many prizes and are works of art. Wolf volunteered at the Western Development Museum, proudly earning his Steam Engine Operator’s Permit.
Wolf and Monica enjoyed travelling, often visiting family and friends. They made a point to celebrate many special occasions in Canada and Europe, with those closest to them. Wolf was a ‘people person’ and thrived in the company of others.
At Wolf’s request there will be no funeral service, but please take a walk in nature or raise a glass in his memory.
Martens Warman Funeral Home is honoured to be entrusted with the care and arrangements of Wolfgang Kurz.