Cover photo for Thomas "Coach" Kurth's Obituary
Thomas "Coach" Kurth Profile Photo

Thomas "Coach" Kurth

May 13, 1936 — August 4, 2021



Thomas Franklin Kurth, age 85, of Elkhart, passed away Wednesday August 4, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born May 13, 1936 in Lima, Ohio. On November 28, 1957 in Hobart, IN., he married Barbara E. Kane who preceded him in death on December 3, 2020.

Tom graduated from Hobart High School in 1954 and Wittenberg University in 1958. His coaching career spanned years, first at Griffith High School from 1958 to 1965, then at Elkhart / Elkhart Central High School from 1966 to 2009, retiring with a 278-140-5 football record and a 177 - 26 track record. Tom was best known as “Coach”.  His greatest joy in coaching came from helping all athletes find success at the next level.  Coach helped over 97 athletes receive full-tuition scholarships during his tenure.  In addition to coaching, he was a driver's education teacher for over 50 years.  Many will say “if he wasn’t your coach he taught you how to drive”.

The list of coaching accomplishments achieved by Tom Kurth is extensive.  A few of the highlights are Indiana Football Coach of the Year 1970 & 1982; 1990 Moose Krause Chapter Football Hall of Fame Award; 1993 Jim Andrews Achievement Award; 1994 inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame; 2001 inducted into the Indiana Track and Field Hall of Fame; IATCCC Coach of the Year, 10 Conference Football Championships; 1963, 1968, 1970 Undefeated Football Teams; 1968 & 1970 State Football Championships; 91 football players chosen 1st team All-State; 35 Blue Blazers on the North All Star team; 9 High School Football All-Americans; 1993 State Track Championship; 1996 State Track Runner-Up and 14 Conference, 9 Sectional & 4 Regional Track Championships.

As much as Tom loved his athletes and had numerous accomplishments, he was always happiest when he was with his family.  He never missed any of his children's or grandchildren’s events.  He loved cheering them on! Tom is survived by his children: Kristie (Steve) Stutsman of Elkhart, Frank (Denise) Kurth of Osceola and Karen (Bill) Hunter of Gastonia, North Carolina, his grandchildren Tommy (Madison) Kurth, Katie (Jake) Kuipers, Dean Hunter and Kurt Hunter. Tom’s greatest love was spending time with his family, friends and his students.  When he found a free minute he was also an avid Lionel Train collector.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 7:30 pm on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at Rice Field at the Kurth Athletic Complex, 1 Blazer Blvd, Elkhart IN 46516 (Face mask are optional) Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Monday, August 9, 2021 Trinity Lutheran Church, 30888 County Road 6, Elkhart, IN 46514 with Pastor Spencer Mielke officiating. Entombment will follow at Rice Cemetery, Elkhart. Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 30888 County Road 6, Elkhart, IN 46514 at or to the Coach Tom Kurth Legacy Scholarship at Online condolences made be made at

If you would like to gift fully prepared meals to the family in this difficult time please click on this link: https://


Trinity Lutheran Church and School
30888 County Road 6, Elkhart IN 46514

Coach Tom Kurth Legacy Scholarship
Elkhart IN 46516

To send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas "Coach" Kurth, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Starts at 7:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Rice Field/Kurth Althletic Complex

1 Blazer Boulevard
Elkhart, IN 46516

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Funeral Service

Monday, August 9, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Interment following funeral service

Monday, August 9, 2021

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