Philip Vincent Kurtgis passed away June 23, 2023 after complications due to lung surgery. He fought courageously and tirelessly
for over 5 months, with time in rehab and ICU, but ultimately his lungs could not sustain him.
Philip was the youngest of 7 children born in Greenfield, MA, to Carl J. and Irma Kurtgis. He moved with his family to Hollywood, Fl. as a youth. He attended MacArthur High School and graduated from Chaminade High School in Hollywood, Fl, where he played football and was active in sports.
Philip then attended Miami Dade Junior college for Civil Engineering until he joined his family wholesale floral business. After a short period of time, he owned and managed 5 Florist Shops in the Pompano/Ft Laud. area which included the downtown Ft Lauderdale shop, Flowers n Things.
In the late 1980s, he changed careers; he sold all his florist shops and joined his entrepreneurial brother Michael, who developed and patented the process of washing and repairing high tension electrical wires/cables and insulators from a helicopter.
Philip became Vice President of USA AIRMOBILE, and alongside his brother, they provided services across the United States and the world including Greece, Australia, Egypt and countries in Africa.
In each of these countries, Philip was well respected and built friendships with many of foreign and domestic pilots, linemen, and electrical engineers, many of whom have most recently reached out in sadness with condolences to our family.
Having met his wife Debbie in 1987, Philip and Debbie were married in January, 1999 and moved to Plantation, Fl. where they remained devoted to each other until his passing.
Philip is survived by his wife, Deborah Miskura Kurtgis, and four children Lisa M. Stevens (Bill) of Allen Park, MI; Catherine I. Morrison (Arnold) of West Bloomfield, MI; Carl J. Kurtgis III (Jennifer) of St.Johnsbury, VT; Philip V. Kurtgis, Jr. of Daytona Beach, Fl; and two step children: Christopher M. Miskura (Nikki) of Loxahatchee, Fl; Ryan D. Miskura ( Heather) of Wellington, Fl. and 7 grandchildren.
His siblings include three surviving brothers: Neal V. Kurtgis of Port St. Lucie, Fl; Byron P. Kurtgis (Lisa) of Franklin, TN. & Micheal P. Kurtgis (Mercy) of Ft. Laud.,FL as well as one sister, Claire I. Kurtgis-Hunter (Paul) of Boca Raton, Fl.
Philip loved practicing at nearby shooting ranges/clubs. He enjoyed sharing the history and value of the sport in fellowship with his sons, brothers, nephews and friends, including his best friend, Ben Webb.
Many stories and laughter were shared during these gatherings as targets and clay pigeons were conquered.
He enjoyed the sport of hunting in Georgia, Florida, and Vermont along with his sons, brothers, grandsons, and hunt buddies.
Philip also enjoyed freshwater fishing and boating with family and friends at the St. Johns River vacation home he and Debbie shared for many years. Airboating in the Everglades not to mention a season before knee surgeries, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his brothers, Michael and Byron.
Together, Philip and Debbie loved visiting America’s national parks where they were always amazed by the beautiful flora, fauna, majestic, mountains, deserts, rock formations, waterfalls, and awesome diversity of life. They also enjoyed trips to Alaska, visited Greece, Italy, several cruises to the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. Most recently, they shared a river cruise visiting sites along the Seine River: Amsterdam, cities in Belgium & France, including Monet’s Giverny and the historical Normandy beachhead.
Philip loved his family and stayed close with each member throughout his life.
He has family living in far reaches- from Kauai, HI to Dallas to points south, north, and west of the Boston area.
He also loved his canine companions: Fritz, Pepper, Fritz II and Tiger his cat.
Philip was a man who prized his Christian faith; he championed Christian values, personal integrity, and the value of hard work.
He enjoyed sharp wit, engaged in gentle and sometimes sarcastic humor, and loved being around family and friends, entertaining them at holidays with Debbie in their home and river house.
One characteristic that others valued was that he was a man of his word. He was always physically strong, his mental and physical strength was that of a much younger person.
As a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother, he will forever be in our hearts and forever remembered.
Philip was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Albert Kurtgis and wife Betty; Carl J Kurtgis and wife Dorothy; and sister in law Beverly Kurtgis (wife to Neal Kurtgis).
A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at 1:00PM at TM Ralph Funeral Home in Plantation FL. Guests will be recieved from 12:00PM-3:00PM.
His remains will then be laid to rest after a service in Greenfield, MA. on August 4, 2023.