Don Kortz, a legend in Denver’s philanthropic community and commercial real estate sector, dies at 81

1 month ago 17
PR Distribution
Don Kortz connected Jan. 31, 2013. (Photo by David Zalubowski, Special to The Denver Post)

The existent property concern was going gangbusters for Don Kortz successful 1995 erstwhile helium stepped distant from his steadfast to make a nonprofit assemblage foundation, not knowing however it would crook retired but assured helium could marque it work.

Today, Rose Community Foundation manages $322 cardinal successful assets, distributing wealth passim the Denver country to marque a quality by awarding grants to assorted nonprofit organizations. And it started with Kortz.

“It took a unsocial committedness to assemblage work to permission for thing with nary existent knowing of wherever it mightiness pb and apt instrumentality a chopped successful pay. But it was indicative of however committed Don was to the community,” his person and workfellow Andy Love said.

Kortz died Sunday evening astatine UCHealth’s University of Colorado Hospital from complications of COVID-19, his nephew, Gary Kortz, said. Don Kortz, who was vaccinated, successfully fought encephalon lymphoma during the pandemic but could not bushed COVID erstwhile helium contracted the microorganism successful precocious May. He was 81.

Kortz is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Blackledge Kortz; his daughter, Zoey Kortz; and his brother, Robert Kortz, and his family.

Born and raised successful Denver, Kortz made his people successful the concern satellite arsenic a lawyer and aboriginal CEO astatine Fuller and Company, a commercialized existent property firm. During his career, helium had a manus successful existent property transactions that exceeded $2 billion, according to a video biography of his beingness connected the Colorado Business Hall of Fame website.

Kortz graduated from East High School and past attended Tulane University successful New Orleans, wherever helium participated successful the ROTC. He was commissioned arsenic a 2nd lieutenant successful the U.S. Army, yet earning the fertile of captain. He graduated from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and past went to enactment for a Denver instrumentality firm.

Through his ineligible work, Kortz met the president of Fuller and Company, who hired him arsenic the firm’s wide counsel. Kortz yet became the company’s president and CEO, and president of the committee of directors, including erstwhile the steadfast was bought by Cassidy Turley Colorado.

Kortz besides was a laminitis of Steele Street Bank and Trust successful 2003, which aboriginal was sold to MidFirst Bank.

But it was his dedication to nonprofit groups, philanthropy and mentoring others that amazed his friends and colleagues.

“By definition, a ‘mensch’ is simply a idiosyncratic of integrity and grant who embodies kindness; Don Kortz was a quintessential mensch whose fingerprints are thankfully each implicit Denver, some successful the Jewish assemblage and beyond,” Rose Community Foundation President and CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent said.

Along with establishing the Rose Community Foundation, Kortz served connected the boards astatine Rose Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Denver Water, among others.

“Denver has mislaid a person who was consenting to bash things without looking for money,” his person Dick Robinson said. “He did it for the bully of the radical and the metropolis and the state.”

Kortz was president of the Rose infirmary committee of directors erstwhile its members made the determination to merchantability to Health One, which near the committee with $170 cardinal to invest. That’s erstwhile the thought for the Rose Community Foundation came up, and Kortz agreed to instrumentality a permission of lack from Fuller and Company to marque it happen.

“He was assured helium would beryllium capable to instrumentality to existent property whenever helium wanted to. He had a coagulated reputation,” Mary Lou Kortz said. “He wanted to bash thing incredibly important for this assemblage that would past forever.”

Friends said Kortz ne'er sought glory oregon recognition for his large projects and ideas. And helium had a knack for bringing radical unneurotic and negotiating done struggle and obstacles.

“Don was an incredibly thoughtful, just guy,” said Norman Browstein, president of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck instrumentality firm. “He ever came up with the close solution and reply successful the issues helium was presented due to the fact that of the large capableness helium had to beryllium just and recognize each issue.”

Multiple radical described Kortz arsenic a “doer.”

“He conscionable had the top instincts and vision. He was truthful thoroughly assured and ethical successful everything that helium did,” erstwhile enclosure president and person Joe Blake said. “He understood a need. It’s 1 happening to recognize it and envision it, but it’s different happening to get it done.”

Even with his engaged enactment and philanthropic life, Kortz was a dedicated household man, often turning down societal invitations to walk clip with his woman and their daughter.

“I knew helium was a businessman but to me, it seemed that his No. 1 was arsenic a dad,” Zoey Kortz said.

The household enjoyed traveling together, Mary Lou Kortz said. Don Kortz had been looking guardant to his daughter’s wedding and visiting her erstwhile she moved with her hubby to England, she said.

Don Kortz besides loved his dogs, enjoyed touring historical sites with friends and ever had a publication successful hand, she said.

“Don’s attack to beingness was a laser focus. He was capable to absorption connected a matter, a idiosyncratic oregon an entity. He could instantly distill what was the important happening that needed to hap oregon what needed to hap to marque it better,” Mary Lou Kortz said.

Kortz’s ceremonial volition beryllium held astatine 10 a.m. Thursday astatine Temple Sinai, 3509 Glencoe St., Denver.

Read Entire Article