Livia Schuck Kurtis
Livia Kurtis of West Hartford passed away in her home early Sunday morning (February 28, 2010), surrounded by family. Livia was born in the Sahy, Czechoslovakia in 1924 to Alexander Schuck and Sara Lustzig Schuck. Along with her younger brother Peter, Livia excelled in school, where she mastered at least five languages and regularly earned top marks in her class. In April 1944, Livia was taken to Auschwitz. Following the Death March, in the spring of 1945, she returned home. Only she and three uncles had survived. She married Leslie Kurtis in 1947 at the Old New Synagogue in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where her ancestor Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (the Maharal of Prague) had officiated. She worked as a dental assistant in Czechoslovakia until, with the assistance of her uncle George Lesny, she immigrated to Guatemala in 1948. She lived and worked in Guatemala until entry into the United States was possible under the Displaced Persons Act of 1950. From Guatemala, she immigrated to New York where she lived in the Bronx until moving to West Hartford in 2000. Her most frequent travels were to Israel, where she lived from 1975 to 1977 and to which she traveled nearly one dozen times, and to her summer home in the Catskill Mountains. She was a gracious hostess and loving individual to her family and numerous friends. Livia was the wife of the late Leslie Kurtis and the mother of the late Peter Kurtis. She is survived by her daughter Debora Schwartz and her daughter-in-law Susan Kurtis. She is also survived by her four grandchildren of whom she was extremely proud: Jason, Ryan, and David Kurtis, and Dina Schwartz; her sister-in-law Gisele Lesny; her niece Margaret Berman; her great-niece Alyssa Norwood; and extended family members in countries around the world. The family expresses their deep appreciation to Larisa Nachkebia, whose caring, compassion, and devotion allowed Livia to live her last years with comfort and dignity.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 2, at 12:00 noon in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford with Rabbi David J. Small officiating. Interment will follow at the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery, Wethersfield. Shiva will be observed at 51 Avondale Road, West Hartford. Memorial contributions may be made to The Kurtis Family Endowment Fund, c/o The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford 06117or the Alzheimer's Association CT Chapter, 279 New Britain Rd., Suite 5, Kensington 06037. For further information, directions, or to share memories of Livia with her family, please visit online at

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