The Manitoba basketball community has lost another important figure with the recent passing of Charlie Kurtz. Charlie was well-known as one of Manitoba's top basketball officials. He began his refereeing career in 1970 and was still doing games well into the 2000s. 

He was the assignor for all Winnipeg Conference High School and Senior Filipino League games for many years. As the leader of the WBOA (Winnipeg Basketball Officials Association) for 15 years, he helped recruit, develop, and mentor many young officials. He refereed in every Winnipeg Invitational Tournament (WIT) from its inception in 1974 to the 25th anniversary, where he was honoured as the Guest of Honour. Charlie refereed in 14 MHSAA Provincial Basketball Championships and earned the final game nine times. In 2000, he received the prestigious Mike Spack Award, which is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the growth and development of basketball in Manitoba over a sustained period.

Charlie was a major contributor to the sport of basketball and other sports. He was a very gifted athlete who gave back to sports in a selfless manner. He will be greatly missed on a sport level, but more so in the countless ways he influenced others as a teacher, principal, church mentor and Harvest Manitoba volunteer.  

Overall, Charlie was truly a good guy who contributed a lot and will be missed. Our sincerest sympathies are extended to his wife, Melody, and his entire family. His funeral will be held at their church, Faith Lutheran, in the coming days.

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