Hilary Anne Kurtz Elf
Hilary Anne Kurtz Elf, 58, of 1752 Brockton Ave., Apt. 6, Los Angeles, Calif., formerly of 624 North Bonhill Road, Los Angeles, and who was soon to be of 100 Warwick Road, West Ellicott, died at 11:36 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Sunday (April 11, 2021) in her home following a courageous battle with cancer.
She was born Oct. 25, 1962, in Los Angeles, a daughter of Joseph Cornelius Kurtz IV and Deborah Ann Austin Kurtz.
Hilary Kurtz grew up on North Bonhill Road in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, attended Brentwood Presbyterian Church for preschool; attended Kenter Canyon School for kindergarten; attended St. Martin of Tours School for grades 1 to 8, where she took part in cotillion; and spent summers of her youth at Beacon Bay in Newport Beach, Calif., which she described as being among the best times of her life. She was so excited about the family trip each August that she started packing in May. In addition, she at age 7 was a Brownie and at age 10 started her own business, selling greeting cards, wrapping paper, and stationery door-to-door. Diagnosed with dyslexia in second grade by her favorite teacher, she undertook special eye training through eighth grade. In 1980, she graduated from Marymount High School, where she was youth chairman of the school auction, sang in the choir, and took part in dancing, cotillion, and theater.
In 1980, she began her undergraduate program at Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and later transferred to American University in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, she enjoyed museums in, and the history of, the nation’s capital, was an avid photographer, and was an intern at the Republican National Committee. She attended 1981 and 1985 inaugural festivities for President Ronald Reagan, not knowing her future husband was also at the latter. Again unbeknownst to her, he was an hour ahead of her in line at the United States Capitol to pay respects to President Reagan when he lay in state in 2004.
After college, she went to real-estate school; worked at Kurtz Richards Wilson & Co., her father’s private investigation business; and with lifelong friend Molly Burke Harrigan started Just the Answer, a corporate-gift-consulting business. She later ran the business on her own, and was a caregiver to her mother for five years until her passing, her father for two years until his passing, and her brother for three years when he had a liver transplant.
In 2018, she attended the New York Republican convention when her future husband explored seeking the Republican and Conservative parties’ nominations for New York attorney general.
She was baptized in 1962 in St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles and confirmed there in 1975. She was involved in charitable causes for all of her schools and for the St. James Inn in Los Angeles. She was also a member of Bel Air/Malibu Women Republican Federated and of Koinonia of Jamestown.
Having grown up in Los Angeles, she always had an interest in, and knew many people involved in, film and television. They were among people she met at friends’ homes as a child, saw at church, and to whom she delivered gift baskets for Just the Answer. She was an extra for the television show Wings in the 1990s and in 2000 was head of extras, and was an extra, for the movie Crooked Lines. She was grateful for all of these opportunities.
Over the course of her life, she enjoyed attending concerts and the theater, and traveling to Europe and throughout the United States, including Hawaii and to her mother’s family’s property in Maine.
She had a knack for genuinely earning people’s trust and thereby being welcomed into the inner circles of new friends. She will be remembered for her love for her family, her devotion to her friends, her good humor, and her dedication to the community and her country. She was particularly devoted to her nephews and her niece during their youth.
The wedding (#KurtzElfWedding) of Mrs. Elf and her husband, Dr. Randolph Scott Elf, was at 3 p.m. on the fourth day of Christmas, Dec. 28, 2019, in First Lutheran Church in Jamestown, followed by a dinner reception at Moon Brook Country Club. The order of service, photos, and video and audio recordings are at https://www.zola.com/wedding/kurtzelfwedding and https://works.bepress.com/elf.
Dr. and Mrs. Elf shared part of the background to their wedding in his Aug. 22, 2020, newspaper column, which is at https://works.bepress.com/elf: Just 19 days before the wedding, her cancer returned, and 10 days before the wedding, it became apparent that treatment needed to begin eight days before the wedding. Nine days beforehand, she offered to stand down and help him find someone else, because she loved him too much to put him through this. He told her that was the most loving thing anyone would ever say to him and declined her offer. Her treatment resumed after an abbreviated Niagara Falls honeymoon.
After the wedding, she continued to reside in Los Angeles, where her treatment began shortly after she and Dr. Elf decided in 2015 to proceed with their lives together, continued with surgery in 2017, continued with chemotherapy and radiation in 2017 and 2018, and continued after the wedding with further chemotherapy, surgery, additional chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, all while she was making plans for her eventual move to the Jamestown area. Although her cancer took their natural-born children, for whom they selected the names Ryan Randolph and Margaret Anne, they were looking forward to starting their own family anew.
Surviving are her husband and her love, Dr. Randolph Scott Elf of West Ellicott; a brother, Austin Jamison Kurtz of Los Angeles; a sister-in-law, Monique Renee Moffitt of Santa Monica, Calif.; a particularly devoted friend and caregiver, Michael Sean Fitzpatrick of Henderson, Nev., who stayed with her for several extended periods during her illness; a sister, Lisa Anne Kurtz McAndrews of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; a brother-in-law, Richard Paul McAndrews of Pacific Palisades; three nephews: Parker Joseph McAndrews of Alameda, Calif., Hunter Francis McAndrews of Pacific Palisades, and Riley Evan McAndrews of Alameda; a niece, Bailey Anne McAndrews Gutierrez of Pacific Palisades; a nephew-in-law, Andrew Paul Gutierrez of Pacific Palisades; and a grand-nephew, Holden Paul Gutierrez of Pacific Palisades. Surviving from her husband’s family are her mother-in-law, Margaret Chrystal Elf of West Ellicott; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Chrystal Elf Wood of Stedman; a brother-in-law, Jonathan Jay Wood of Stedman; and a nephew, Collin Frederick Wood of Stedman.
In addition to the loss of her and her husband’s natural-born children, she was preceded in death by her mother on July 31, 1999; her father on April 25, 2004; her eldest sibling in 1959; her paternal grandfather, Joseph Cornelius Kurtz III, in 1959; her paternal grandmother, Mary Geis Kurtz, in 1966; her maternal grandfather, John Wight Austin, in 1984; her maternal grand-mother, Mildred Elizabeth Reimund Austin, in 1986; her father-in-law, Dr. Frederick M. Elf, on April 27, 2000; and her elder sibling-in-law on May 22, 1962. Through her mother’s family, she was a descendant of William the Conqueror.
On a date to be announced and in the coming weeks, a committal service will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, Calif. Entombment next to Mrs. Elf’s parents will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery. According to Mrs. Elf’s wishes, she will wear a favorite koawood fishhook pendant belonging to her husband, and locks of her husband’s hair from just before and just after their wedding will be with her. As the inscription for her face plate on her crypt, in Holy Cross Cemetery, Mrs. Elf selected, in small-capital letters:
Loving Daughter Wife Mother & Friend
Hilary Anne Kurtz Elf
October 25, 1962 — April 11, 2021
Wife of Dr. Randolph Scott Elf
On later dates to be announced, full services will take place in Los Angeles and Jamestown.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated in St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles.
The memorial service will be in First Lutheran Church in Jamestown. The order of service will be at https://works.bepress.com/elf. Interment of locks of her hair from just after their wedding will be with Dr. Elf one day in Lake View Cemetery, and he will wear his identical pendant.
Following Mrs. Elf’s wishes, the family suggests that memorials may be made to the Dr. and Mrs. Randy Elf Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown, N.Y. 14701.
This obituary is at https://works.bepress.com/elf.