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Don Kurth


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Dr. Kurth was a very kind man. He will surely be missed. This is the obituary:

Donald James Kurth Jr.

APRIL 26, 1949  OCTOBER 4, 2023
Obituary of Donald James Kurth Jr.
Donald James Kurth Jr.

April 26, 1949 – October 4, 2023

Donald James Kurth, Jr. was born on April 26, 1949 to Donald J Kurth Sr. and Isabelle Statchen in Newport, Rhode Island. 


Don grew up in Westwood New Jersey and graduated from Westwood High School in 1967. He later completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University (BA) graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1975 before attending medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he graduated in 1979 (MD). Following a fellowship in orthopedic surgery at Oxford University he returned to the United States to complete his medical education. After completing his internship at Johns Hopkins University he trained at the UCLA Hospital Medical Center and later became Board Certified first in Emergency Medicine and then in Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Kurth subsequently received his master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. 

Don moved to Rancho Cucamonga in the early 1980’s where he began to establish himself in the local community. As a physician, he was the owner of “The Urgent Care Center” for 20+ years, and the medical director at Loma University’s Behavorial Medical Center. As an educator, Dr. Kurth served on the faculty of Loma Linda University School of Medicine as an assistant professor with appointments in both Preventive Medicine and Psychiatry. In addition, he held a faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

As a community leader, he was elected President of the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce in 1994, Director of the Cucamonga County Water District in 1996, appointed to the Rancho Cucamonga City Council in 2002, and elected Mayor of Rancho Cucamonga on November 7, 2006, serving one term until 2011. 

Dr. Kurth was a passionate advocate for those who suffered from the disease of addiction. He has been a prolific writer and advocate regarding matters of healthcare public policy, particularly in the area of substance dependence and abuse. In 1999, he founded California Legislative Day for the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), and in 2003 the National Legislative Day for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). He also served as President in each of those organizations. He and his colleagues were instrumental in the repeal of the Uniform Policy Provision Law (UPPL) in California and passage of the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. In 2003, Dr. Kurth received the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellowship for Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse. He has established two “Oxford House” sober living houses that have been such an important safe haven for men who are in their early stages of substance abuse recovery.

Don was a rare intellect. In addition to his professional and community accomplishments, he enjoyed a myriad of hobbies including: fishing, falconry, drag racing, hunting, collecting rare palm and cycads, rocks and geology, and so many more. He was able to travel the world in pursuit of these hobbies, but also as a renowned speaker of addiction medicine and substance abuse. 

Don is survived by is wife Dee, daughters Adeline and Daisy, sister and brother-in-law Kristy and Kevin, niece Maryanne, nephews Patrick and Tyler, and great nephews Maximo and Henry. 

Memorial contributions may be made to either of Don’s two sober living Oxford Houses: Oxford House Foothill (501c3 #33-0708345); or Oxford House Iris West (501c3 #46-1835125). You may mail your contributions to either Oxford House, c/o Dee Matreyek, PO Box 1410, Upland, CA 91785

Services Are Pending

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.stonefuneralhomeupland.com for the Kurth family.

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He was a director of the IPS in the early aughts and very active with the Palm Society of Southern California 

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Sorry to hear. I met Don a few times and he seemed to be an enthusiastic guy!

I had met him as the out of town owner of Palm Mountain Nursery  in San Diego County. 

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Zone 10a at best after 2007 AND 2013, on SW facing hill, 1 1/2 miles from coast in Oceanside, CA. 30-98 degrees, and 45-80deg. about 95% of the time.

"The great workman of nature is time."   ,  "Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."

-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon-

I do some experiments and learning in my garden with palms so you don't have to experience the pain! Look at my old threads to find various observations and tips!

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