Dorothy Kurki

January 12, 1935 - August 16, 2010
Dorothy Kurki


Dorothy Jane Prachnaik Kurki passed peacefully from this earth on Monday August 16, 2010.

Dorothy was born January 12, 1935 in Jersey City, NJ and was raised in New Milford, NJ by her parents Joe and Kathleen. Dorothy attended Endicott Junior College which were magical years spent with very special college roommates, Rosemary, Naomi, and Barbara. She went on to graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University and attended Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, eventually working at Merck, Sharp and Dome in their research department. While attending school in Philadelphia, she lived at Cole’s House and met her dear friend, Lee Martin and found the love of her life, Harry Martin Kurki. On a blind date, with a lucky toss of the coin Harry and Dorothy began an amazing journey together. Married on April 12, 1957, they spent the first 20 years of their life living in Pennsylvania, primarily Radnor, PA. Summering “down the shore” at Ocean City, NJ, these years north of the Mason Dixon line produced many special friendships and memories. Leaving their winter wear behind, they traveled I-95 in the blizzard of ’77 to Fort Lauderdale, FL where new adventures awaited. Dorothy worked in various professional positions and finally found her home at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale working in the Housing Department. Dorothy loved working with the young artists and professionals of tomorrow. Their energy and enthusiasm for life fueled her. With the passing of her soul mate Harry, Dorothy relocated to Wilmington, NC. She was blessed to make many new friends from The Newcomers Club and her “Gym Buddies.” These relationships sustained her and gave her great joy. A devoted Grandmom and loving mother, Dorothy delighted in the achievements of her children and grandchildren.

She will be sorely missed by her daughter, Allison Ward, and her husband Stuart and their children, Luke and J.J.; her son Peter Kurki, his wife, Mary and their children, Morgan and Jensen; and her grandson, Adam Budd.

With her passing, she is reunited with Harry and her daughter Lisa Budd.

Memorial service will be 11:00AM, Thursday, August 19, 2010 at Pine Valley United Methodist Church.

When you visit the beach on the north side of the Kure Beach Pier, stop for a moment and listen. You’ll hear her voice, she’ll make you laugh, and your life will be better for having encountered her.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401

Please share memories and condolences by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099


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  • August 18, 2010
    Godwin says:
    We knew Dorothy through our front porch. Many times, Dorothy would bring home Luke and JJ. As the children bounded out of her car; laughing, skipping, singing, or quarreling! Dorothy would follow a few steps behind, a smile on her face watching with delight falling into a blissful reverie. We did not disturb. The pleasure was in watching her joy and her devotion to her grandchildren. No words spoken. Observing a priceless memory is worth the silent gift.

  • August 18, 2010
    Hillarie Sharpe says:
    Allison , I am sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. You and your family are in my thoughts during this time . Please let me know if you need anything. Hillarie Sharpe

  • August 18, 2010
    Carolyn Williams says:
    Allison and family, I was so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. This has been a tough year for you, losing both your sister and mother in less than a year. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to call. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • August 18, 2010
    Nily R Walters says:
    I did not know Dorothy well ,,, and certainly not long enough ,,, however ,,, I will miss her unique sense of humor and insights. My thoughts and prayers are with you ,,, her family and dearest friends ,,, in this time of sorrow. Her memory will live on in your hearts.

  • August 19, 2010
    Laura Morris says:
    Allison, Stuart, Peter, Mary & kids - Your mom was a wonderful lady who will truly be missed. I was shocked & very sad to hear that she passed. I'll continue to keep your family in my prayers! Much love, Laura, Alex & Natalie