Peter Samuel Kurtis, M.D.
Peter Samuel Kurtis, M.D., 48, of Avondale Rd., West Hartford, passed away Wednesday morning (March 29, 2006) surrounded by family at St. Francis Hospital. He was the son of Livia Kurtis and the late Leslie Kurtis, M.D., beloved husband of Susan (Presant) Kurtis and devoted father of Jason, Ryan, and David Kurtis. Born and raised in the Bronx, he demonstrated an early aptitude for science, excelling at Bronx High School of Science, graduating in 1975. He continued his studies at SUNY Albany, receiving a BS in Biology, and at New York University, earning a MA in Biomechanical Engineering. Peter and Susan were joyously married in 1981. Dr. Kurtis attended medical school at The Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, earning his M.D. in 1984. He relished the four years spent in Israel before returning to the Bronx to complete his medical training at Einstein Hospital and Montefiore Hospital. In 1987, the Kurtis family moved to West Hartford after Peter was selected for a fellowship in Neonatology at the UConn Health Center. Dr. Kurtis was an extraordinarily skilled and dedicated Neonatologist for the past 16 years in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Francis Hospital, and often kept in touch with patients and their families long after they had left his care. Highly regarded and well respected by his colleagues, he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Associate Professor at the UConn Health Center. Dr. Kurtis holds two U.S. patents, one for a specialized suctioning device he developed to provide critical care in the first tenuous moments of a newborn's life. The Kurtis Meconium Suction Device is utilized in hospitals throughout the world. A long-time board member of the Emanuel Synagogue of West Hartford, Dr. Kurtis cultivated a love for Judaism in all aspects of his life and was fluent in Hebrew. He took tremendous pride in his recent second career as a Mohel, looking forward with great anticipation to each Bris. Among a diverse range of hobbies and interests, Dr. Kurtis' greatest passion was family, and he tirelessly searched internet genealogy websites for relatives separated by the Holocaust. He was elated to locate long-lost relatives now living in Toronto. An avid home theater enthusiast, he took considerable pride in sharing the latest technology with family and friends. He also leaves his sister Debora Schwartz and her daughter Dina, of Davie, FL; his aunt, Gisele Lesny of Bloomfield; his cousins Margaret Berman of Bloomfield and her daughter Alyssa Norwood, and Anna Sterecova and Jiri Radvansky of Prague, Czech Republic. He was dearly loved by family members in many countries around the world. In addition, he leaves countless enduring friendships sustained with much affection throughout the years. The family expresses their appreciation to Peter's physicians, Dr. Steven Cohen, Dr. Bimilan Lahiri, Dr. M. Nathan Lassman, Nicole Huhn, RN and to the CICU of St. Francis Hospital. Their caring and compassion allowed Peter to live his last days with comfort and dignity. Funeral services will be held Friday, March 31, at 12 Noon, at the Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford with Rabbi David J. Small officiating. Interment will follow at the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery, Wethersfield. Shiva will be observed at the family home, 51 Avondale Rd., West Hartford. Memorial contributions may be made to The Kurtis Family Endowment Fund, c/o The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford. For further information, directions, or to share memories of Peter with his family, please visit online at

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