Darrell Shurtz, 64, died Monday, April 20, at a Templeton hospital, after a two-year battle with various infections.
For more than two decades, Shurtz taught photography classes at Coast Union High School. According to his wife of 36 years, Ruth Shurtz, he began his part-time teaching career at Coast with “one class of four students” and wound up “teaching four classes with up to 25 students per class.”
He left Coast in 2011, and had been “really sick all last year, in and out of the hospital,” his wife said. Even then, when he could only get around in a wheelchair, she’d push him outside “and he’d still take pictures. Photography was his lifeblood,” she said, a passion he shared with his students, many of whom have been remembering him on his Facebook page.
According to Ruth Shurtz, her husband was born in La
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Jolla and went to school there though junior high. The family moved to Needles, where he graduated from high school, and he then attended Grand Canyon College (now Grand Canyon University) in Phoenix, earning a teaching degree.
After working as a proofreader in Arizona, Darrell Shurtz and his wife moved to the Central Coast, where he processed film for a Morro Bay photo store. There he offered to teach Coast high school staffers how to process film. Instead, the school hired Shurtz to teach photography to the students.
According to the wishes of Darrell Shurtz, no service will be held.