Carolyn Kurtz Simpson
Carolyn Kurtz Simpson November 19, 1940 – November 10, 2019
Carolyn was born in San Diego, California, the first child of James Harald Kurtz, Jr., and Marian Stooke Kurtz. The family moved to Van Nuys, where Carolyn’s sister Mary Lou was born, and then to Albuquerque, where brother Jim was born. They returned to Los Angeles in 1955 and settled there, but by then Carolyn had been in New Mexico long enough to acquire the love of mountains and high desert that eventually brought her to Nevada.
Carolyn graduated from George Washington High School in Los Angeles in1958, then attended Los Angeles City College and Los Angeles State College (now Cal State LA). She received a BA and MA in Home Economics, which she taught at the junior high and high school level in LA and Burbank. She went into school administration in Burbank after receiving an MA in Family Counseling from Pepperdine University.
Carolyn married her high school sweetheart in 1962 but they split up while she was pregnant with her only child, Douglas James, born in 1967. In September 1971, she wed Melvin James Simpson, a World War II veteran. In March 1972, her beloved son Doug was lost in a tragic accident. Carolyn and Mel moved to the Hollywood Hills, but they didn’t meet Carolyn’s longing for mountains, so in 1985 they moved to Carson City.
In Nevada, she worked in the office of the State Superintendent of Education, traveling around the state as a curriculum consultant. With Mel’s encouragement, she enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno, as a candidate for a Doctorate in Education, but when Mel passed away in 1993, she put her dissertation on hold. During this time, she served as Director of Teacher Services at UNR. In 1996, she moved to Reno where she served as Vice Principal at Hidden Valley and Marvin Piccolo Elementary, as well as Traner Middle School, before retiring in 2001. She was an active mem ber of Chapter Q, Reno, of P.E.O., an international women’s organization that provides scholarships, grants and loans for women in higher education.
In 2001, Carolyn and the Meintjes family of Reno found each other. Carolyn became “OG” (short for “Other Granny”) to two boys, Ian and Tate, and a dear friend and “OM” (“Other Mother”) to André and Coral.
Carolyn opened her home to many canine companions through the years. Her last three, Sophie, Lulu, and Jazzy, brought her great joy. Carolyn’s dear friend and caretaker, Dianna Mott of Carson City, has given “the girls” a new and loving “forever home.”
Carolyn was predeceased by her parents, her son Doug, her husband Mel, and her much loved “Other Grandson,” Tate Meintjes.
She is survived by her sister Mary Lou Kurtz of Alameda, CA; her brother Jim Kurtz and his wife Diane, and their son Christopher and his family, all of Virginia; her “adopted” son André Meintjes, his wife Coral, and her “Other Grandson” Ian Meintjes, all from Reno; and by many cousins and friends.
At Carolyn’s request, there will be no services. At a later date, her ashes will be scattered at the same site as her beloved Mel.