Monday, April 12, 2021
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Covenant Living Benevolence Fund
2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Stuart Kortebein was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. A strong believer in Jesus Christ from a young age, he lived his life as a wonderful example of accepting all people with compassion. Stuart spent a good portion of his life serving others through his successful careers, teaching adult Sunday school, and his work on mission trips in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. There is no doubt that he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
The year 1930 was significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. Banks were still closed but there was a promise of a new election year awaiting. On the 17th of April, Rowland and Grace (Hinman) Kortebein welcomed home the arrival of their newborn son, Stuart, in Evanston, Illinois. Later joined by his younger brother, Bruce, his birth brought great joy to his loving parents.
Growing up in the city of Chicago, Stuart was always active and on the go throughout his childhood. With his mother working as an executive secretary for a railroad company, he learned the ins and outs of traveling the country for very little cost. When he was sixteen, he and his younger brother, Bruce rode a train from the city all the way to California and back! He enjoyed his early years of school and being a member of the choir during his middle school years. As a teen he enjoyed being a lifeguard for the Chicago Park District. Stuart graduated with the Class of 1948 from Amundsen High School before setting off for North Park College.
During these years, Stuart enjoyed running track and his One Mile Relay Team took fourth place at a national invitational in the Junior College Division. Tall and lanky, he was a natural at running and well into his 40’s and 50’s he ran in the Masters at track meets. It was during his time in school when Stuart also joined a men’s quartet. The quartet cut a record and held over 300 radio and TV appearances through to 1955!
Yet it was in 1949 when Stuart met Alice Johnson in a college Zoology class. He was immediately taken by her beautiful blonde hair and gorgeous smile that seemed to shine straight into his heart! During their five years of dating, Stuart completed his degree at Wheaton College and had been accepted into medical school at Loyola. Stuart was driven and anything that he set out to accomplish he did without cutting corners. The happy couple married on July 10, 1954 in Alice’s hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. Stuart was still in the midst of medical school at the time so they took a brief honeymoon in Wisconsin.
Their lives were never dull. Stuart and Alice lived in Akron and Elyria Ohio, and the suburbs of Chicago while he was completing his medical schooling. During their early years, finances were tight with Stuart often working medical internship shifts which could often last 34 hours! For a few years, beginning in 1958, they lived on a Marine Corps base in 29 Palms, California while Stuart served as a Navy doctor. To keep his mind focused, Stuart took a keen interest in and fell in love with the martial arts, earning his way to a black belt rank in both Judo and Jiu Jitsu.
Balancing his new role as a husband, his residency, relocating as well as his busy schedule, Stuart was determined to complete his medical schooling and graduated in 1957 the same year they welcomed home William, the first of their two sons. Later, they were blessed with their son, David in 1963. As a family, they enjoyed visiting relatives at the family cottage at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and often took trips to visit Alice’s family in Duluth. They also visited their close friends in New Jersey and spent a memorable week in the Rockies at a horse ranch including a day of whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. They created many lasting memories during these years. Nothing brought Stuart more relaxation than his continued love for basking in the sun and surfing.
Alice worked for a time as an assistant head floor nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago yet they both agreed her most important role was to remain at home raising their children. Stuart went on to become a well-respected and renowned orthopedic surgeon. He served as chief of orthopedics at two different Naval hospitals throughout his tenure and served as chairman of the emergency department. His hospital was the first in Illinois to provide paramedic EMT care. At the age of 55, Stuart began working as an auxiliary police officer and went on to earn a law degree.
Stuart and Alice treasured the opportunities that retirement afforded them. They both enjoyed traveling and were thrilled to visit Europe while their son Dave was living in Germany. They took in all the sights and talked about the trip for many years. Most importantly, they treasured times spent with their grandchildren who brought them great joy. Stuart was so very proud of them and the paths they each chose in their lives. He held fond memories when the grandkids came to stay with them at the Lake Geneva cottage during the summers for what they lovingly referred to as “Cousin’s Camp” and where great times were shared by all. Always one to stay fit, he enjoyed weight lifting to keep in shape. For relaxation he dabbled in writing poetry and photography. All in all, he was most content surrounded by his loved ones.
A great testimony of his love for Alice was shown through the tender care he provided when she began suffering from brain damaging strokes. For eight years, he was always by her side through the many trials of her progressive physical and mental deterioration until she passed in 2012. During his later years, Stuart leaned on his family and faith for support. He lived an abundant life and selflessly gave his time and resources to many. May his loved ones never doubt the immense love he had for them and may his rich collection of memories live on eternally in their hearts forever.
Stuart R. Kortebein M.D., age 90, of Grand Rapids, passed away Saturday, April 3, 2021. Stuart was born April 17, 1930, in Evanston, IL. He was a proud Veteran of the U.S. Navy, a longtime member of First Evangelical Covenant Church, and loved Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Stuart was an orthopedic surgeon, practicing in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, with many accomplishments and achievements during his life, and unforgettable times with his family. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Alice; his parents, Rowland & Alma Kortebein and Grace & Stan Munson. Stuart is survived by his sons, William (Carol) Kortebein of Lafayette, IN, David (Karen) Kortebein of St. Joseph; grandchildren, Daniel, Mia, Kelsey, Matthew, Kirsten, Timothy; great-grandchildren, Zion & Esinam; brother, Bruce (Marty) Kortebein; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held Monday, April 12, 2021 at 2 PM at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont Blvd NW where friends may visit with family beginning at 1 PM. Interment will be in Ft. Custer National Cemetery. To access the live stream service, read more of Stuart's life story, leave a memory or condolence please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.