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Rocklin author looks back to help others move forward

Kurtz conquers pain with faith and friendship
By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Placer Herald correspondent
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Know and Go

What: Book launch party celebrating “Living Through the Pain ~ The Lonely Me” will include door prizes from businesses that cater to women

When: 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday March 1

Where: Blue Line Arts, 405 Vernon St., Suite 100, Roseville

Info: (916) 521-2647 or cathyakurtz.com

Her memoir begins with a hook that might make readers wonder if they are truly delving into nonfiction.

As the layers unfold in chapter one, teenager Cathy Compton is reeling in disbelief after losing her parents, brother and sister-in-law in a plane crash. The 16-year-old is not allowed to visit the wreckage site, but catches a glimpse of her famous father’s bloodied driver’s license on the evening news. Left behind by a family rooted in syndicated television and radio broadcasting, her only surviving sibling left on Earth is a brother whose days are also numbered.

How did Compton, known today as Cathy Kurtz, live through the pain and surpass the suffering to become a successful Rocklin mother, wife and businesswoman? “Living Through the Pain ~ The Lonely Me” is Kurtz’s way of sharing how she fought on, found strength and ultimately discovered the foundation of faith that had been there all along, allowing her to create a purposeful life and help others.

On March 1 the Rocklin author will host a book launch party at Blue Line Arts in Roseville to celebrate her memoir and promote local businesses owned by women.

“For anyone who is considering my book, I would encourage them to embrace my book to help them on their journey,” Kurtz share. “We all have our own stories and it isn’t about one being more horrific than the others, as pain is pain. It is about finding a way to survive, moving beyond the pain, putting the pain in its proper perspective and finding peace.”

Looking back, Kurtz remembers growing up around the limelight of her father, Dewey Compton, who hosted the first garden radio and television call-in show in the nation. Kurtz’s dad had recently made the movie “The Fraternity Feeds the World,” to share with Congress how a partnership between Israeli and American agriculturalists could educate and ultimately feed people of impoverished nations.

“My father was bigger than life and set an excellent example for the person I have tried to be my whole life — be honest, true to your word, genuinely care about your fellow man and have enormous love of God,” Kurtz remembered.

She described her oldest brother Ronnie as her hero and was proud he was following in Dad’s footsteps as a broadcaster. After the unfathomable plane crash took away her beloved family and their dreams, Kurtz was haunted by the past and left alone to fend for herself. As if that were not enough, she also helplessly endured the sexual abuse of a boyfriend. The teenager’s only escape at the time was academics. Kurtz graduated first in her high school class. Just two and a half years later she earned a BBA in finance from Texas A&M University. As Kurtz worked towards her MBA her writing talents become apparent when she won an award for a paper that was published as a business case in the Harvard MBA Program. Best friend of 24 years Christine Barrera encouraged Kurtz to write out her journey of perseverance because she knew it would be a page-turner for anyone needing to step up to a new level of faith.

“I would say no matter where you’re at on this planet— any woman, any man, anybody would be encouraged by her book because it shows how you can get though anything in your life tragic, whatever the story is, and come out on the other side on top and you can use it to glorify God and to help others,” she shared.

“Living Through the Pain ~ The Lonely Me” is published through Kurtz’s publishing company, Healing Hart Publishing, named after her sister-in-law, Sara Hart Compton, who perished in the plane crash at the young age of 27. Kurtz also works in upper-level management for the state of California and is involved with numerous charities. She is a mentor and motivational speaker. Her husband, Dusk, remembers a time he was dealing with grief and happy to have her loving support.

“My (first) wife had died and as time went on it was time for me to get back out,” he remembered. “Cathy and I met through Christine. We had that same background — trying to come to grips with losing somebody that you love. We helped each other and writing the book definitely helped Cathy work through everything even more — and now she is a lot stronger and ready to help anybody that she can.”