‘Kurt and his family played an integral role in our history … he was involved with race teams and with his friend Stan and the Friesen Family were track owners as well,” said (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones, “he will be remembered not only during our 65th Season but in the years to come.”
Kurt is survived by his loving wife of 59 years Deanna, devoted daughter Janice Pritty and her husband Erik, granddaughter Katelyn Secord and her husband Blake, and sister Hilda Jacobi (Bill). Fondly remembered by sisters-in-law Nancy Little and her husband Ivan, along with Olga Uhl and Jenny Uhl.
Kurt was an inspiring and loving uncle to 10 nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by brothers George, John, Ben and Ed who all displayed prowess in the boxing ring.
Kurt was born on June 7, 1935 in Waldheim Saskatchewan, with his family moving to St. Catharines when he was 6 years old. Out of Thorold High School, Kurt entered the automotive trade and opened his own business, Ace Alignment in 1966. With his friends Stan Friesen and Neil Sharp, Kurt joined the burgeoning local stock car racing scene, campaigning late models and sportsman coupes and coaches with great success at Merrittville Speedway, Humberstone Speedway and Speedway Park.
In 1970, Kurt and Stan became track owners and promoters, purchasing Merrittville Speedway, bringing the fledgling DIRT of Western New York sanction to the sport, with their families helping to run the facility.
Their racing empire doubled in size in 1972 with the acquisition of Ransomville Speedway. They sold Merrittville in 1981, with Kurt exiting Ransomville ownership in 1987. His influence in speedway operations is still prevalent.
Ace Alignment remains a vital Niagara business under Kurt’s guidance and vision. He worked hard and he played hard. In semi- retirement, Kurt and Deanna delighted in entertaining family, friends, and best buddies Dave and Jackie at their summer home at Sherkston Shores. Parties and laughter meant everything to Kurt, and “The Colonel’s” laughter will echo in our hearts forever.
Kurt’s family would like to offer very special thanks to Dr. Elijah Rabin and the Nephrology staff at The General for their compassion and care.
Cremation has taken place. A private internment will follow.
“Now he belongs to the ages….”
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Kurt’s memory to the Community Breakfast Program at St. George’s www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-georges-anglican-st-catharines/
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Consecutive Season in 2016 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2016 65th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Yager Bros Trucking, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at .http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Lucas Oil Products, Inc., is the world leader in the production high performance oils, fuel treatments and problem solving additives with the largest variety of shelf products of any oil company in North America. Lucas Oil’s premium formulas are marketed worldwide and retail at more than 40,000 auto parts stores across the continent and at virtually every truck stop across Canada. Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favourite automotive retailer or maintenance center including Kala’s Home Hardware, KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage.
From: Jim Irvine/ Assistant General Manager- Merrittville Speedway
905-685-7223 Winter Office