SEDGWICK/BLUE HILL – Kurt J. Lietz, 66, of Sedgwick and Blue Hill, died at home of colon cancer on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. He is survived by his sister Karen White, his brothers, Eric Lietz and Terry Lietz, his brother-in-law Keith White, his niece Kelsi White, his nephew Kris White, married to Jen White, and his longtime significant other, Isabel Karl, as well as many relatives and friends.
Kurt was born in Mount Clemens, Mich., on March 26, 1950, the second child of Wilma Mary Lietz (nee Breiling) and Gerhard Otto Lietz. He grew up just outside the Detroit city limits in Harper Woods and St. Clair Shores. He fondly remembered frequent visits to his maternal grandparents’ home where he and his siblings would roam afar in the fields and enjoy the fruits of their large, wonderful garden. From his mom he learned to cook and bake delicious meals such as she always made, and from his dad he learned to fish and skate. The family often went camping at Ipperwash on Lake Huron.
In high school, Kurt was introduced to sailing and downhill skiing, two lifelong passions. He attended Michigan Technological University for two years, where he studied engineering and was on the downhill ski team. He then spent two seasons at Aspen skiing and working. For several summers he was on racing crews in the Canada’s Cup, notably, on Dynamite with a first-place finish in 1972.
In the early 1970s, he began working in the service department at Hood Sails in Marblehead, Mass., but continued to race every February: the SORC, Bermuda Race and others. He later worked at Doyle Sails in Marblehead, Mass. He moved to Maine 27 years ago, and worked at Center Harbor Sails in Brooklin, where he honed his traditional sail-making skills. He then founded his own company, Lietz Sails, based first in Sedgwick and then Brooklin.
Kurt had many interests, including but never limited to; biking, kayaking, lobstering, fishing, camping, gardening, cooking, listening to music, hiking, wind surfing, swimming, skating, snowshoeing, skiing, studying calculus, fixing his Saab, fixing anything and loving everything to do with nature and outdoor adventures. He often competed in his favorite activities and has medals and trophies to show for it. But his main focus was not to beat the other, but rather to achieve personal best. Thus he was known for his enthusiasm, sportsmanship and teamwork as well as for an ability to listen, and to enjoy a good joke.
Kurt was interested in everyone he met and made many dear friends in all the circles of his life. Locally, he supported WERU, Northeast Historic Film, Downeast Family YMCA and Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center, to name a few. A Celebration of Life will take place here in Maine in the spring (exact time still to be decided).