Portrait of Dr. Kurfees 1947
Louisville - Dr. James F. Kurfees, MTH and PhD in Theology, 87, passed away on the morning of June 27, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.He was a graduate of the old Kentucky Military Institute, The University of Louisville Medical School, and Louisville Bible College. He attended Vanderbilt University, Harvard Medical School, University of Alabama Birmingham and Trinity Theological Seminary.
After graduating from the University of Louisville Medical School, completing internships and residency at Macon Hospital, Macon, Georgia, he served in the United States Navy as the medical officer for a squadron of 8 destroyers based in Norfolk Virginia. His ship was the USS O'Hare, DDR-889. Following his naval service, he established a practice of Family Medicine in Albion, Idaho while also teaching at Magic Valley Christian College and coaching the track team.
He then matriculated at the University of Alabama Birmingham as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow while teaching in the Medical and Dental School and doing research.
Returning to Kentucky, he joined the faculty at Morehead State University while operating a working farm on the periphery of Daniel Boone National Forest. Moving to Shelby County in 1965, he established a family practice in Crestwood, Kentucky. During this time, he taught part time at Kentucky Southern College, the St. Anthony School of Medical Technology, Louisville Bible College and the University of Louisville Family Practice Department. While in practice in Crestwood, he did clinical research for the UpJohn and Sandoz Drug companies.
In 1974, he joined the newly formed University of Louisville Family Practice Department as full time faculty. While there, he served briefly as acting Medical Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Eastern Kentucky University. During a sabbatical year, he served as visiting faculty at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia.
Dr. Kurfees retired from full-time faculty at University of Louisville Family Practice Department in 1990, but continued as part-time faculty for several years. He was board certified in both Family Medicine and Geriatric and Community Health Medicine. His students at the University of Louisville School of Medicine honored him with the establishment of the James F. Kurfees Excellence in Teaching award, presented annually to a faculty member who exhibits unusual teaching ability. He was given the 1993 Outstanding Alumni Award, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine.
At the age of 72, he matriculated at Trinity Theological Seminary and completed his Doctorate of Theology.
In 1978, Dr. Kurfees was ordained as a minister in the Independent Christian Church and for many years served as a preacher, elder, and teacher for churches in Kentucky, Indiana, Idaho, Virginia, and Georgia.
Most recently he attended and participated at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
He was a talented musician, able to play many instruments, but his real love was jazz piano, which he studied for over 15 years.
Dr. Kurfees published many scientific research studies in medical journals, as well as chapters in textbooks. Many of his religious writings were also published.
Throughout the years, he belonged to several civic organizations and medical societies and was a Diplomat of the American Academy of Family Practice. A life time member of the Kentucky Society of Natural History, he enjoyed camping, fishing, backpacking, and bird watching. He also hiked thousands of miles in the US and Canada with his wife, Jane.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jim Kurfees. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jane Jackman Kurfees, and daughters Kathy French (Mark), and Becky Meyer (Bill). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Heather Jones (Josh), Josh French (Kinsey), Bill Meyer (Danielle), and Chris Meyer (Megan). He is survived by three great grandchildren, Sam, Charlie and Elsie Claire Jones. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Alma Becker and his cousin, Elizabeth LeSueur, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Sunrise Senior Living, the staff at Baptist Hospital East, and Dr. William Haney. Additionally, we are grateful for all who cared for him, many of whom were his former students and residents.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday July 1, 2018 at Ratterman Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, East Louisville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the University of Louisville Family Medicine Department, the WHAS Crusade for Children, Louisville Bible College or the donor's favorite charity.
KSNH has made a charitable contribution to the Crusade in "Doc's" name.