As the sun rose on Wednesday 26th August, 1970, joy filled the hearts of William and Marina McCartney as they prepared for the arrival of their second child, a beautiful baby boy. Another gift from God and a wonderful addition to their family, the baby was given the name Richard Kurt North McCartney.
During his early years Kurt was a very quiet child, he loved to play alone, and enjoyed the solitude of his room and the safety of his family. He was so dependent on his brother and sisters that when Yvette and Bran would plan to “borrow” the family car late in the evening, they were forced to rethink their plans as they knew that Kurt would scream uncontrollably if he woke to find them not in the bed with him.
He was well taken care of by his nanny of many years whose capabilities became increasingly questionable as his favorite activity while in her care was to locate his father’s check books and demonstrate his exceptional fine motor skills by neatly cutting them into small pieces. Until he was three years old every day his nanny dressed him in a three piece suit, bow tie, knee socks and shoes to greet his parents at 1:00p.m. when they came home for lunch. Perhaps this explains his lifelong aversion to formal attire.
It was evident at an early age that Kurt was musically inclined as he was fluent in pots and pans by the age of three. This continued throughout his life as he loved Rake & Scrape. He attended music school to which he adamantly objected as he felt he had learned all he needed to know once he mastered the art of playing the piano by ear. He aspired to form a band with his nieces, and recently purchased a piano, guitar, and a trumpet in order to begin their road to fame. According to his mother he also had a beautiful singing voice. In addition to his incredible musical capacity, Kurt was also blessed with athletic ability. He excelled in the 100M sprint during his high school tenure.
‘Myers’ or ‘Mr. Fix-it’ as Kurt was sometimes called, was capable of completing most minor and in many cases some significant household repairs. In fact since childhood Uncle Timmy, (Dr. Tim McCartney) described Kurt as “The smartest and most talented child of Willie and Marina.” His cousin, CJ while still very young, proclaimed him “Genius!!” when he repaired a special toy of CJ’s, which had been broken for a while. As a child while holding Christmas employment at Wilmac’s with his siblings, his marketing skills were distinct, as he would assemble the electronic toys to entice purchases by gift seeking parents.
Kurt began his formal education at Jack and Jill nursery at the age of three until he turned six and was ready to enter Kindergarten at Kingsway Academy. Kurt remained at Kingsway until he completed seventh grade then transferred to St. John’s College. He remained at St. Johns and joined the ranks of the graduating class of 1988.
As was the normal progression for a studious, enterprising young man in the late 80’s, Kurt applied and was accepted to Florida Memorial College where he completed three years of undergraduate studies. He then transferred to Nova Southeastern University, School of Pharmacy where he graduated with a pharmaceutical degree in June 1994. Following his graduation, Kurt completed a one-year internship at Palmetto General Hospital in Miami, Florida.
Upon his returned to The Bahamas he chose to work with his Dad at Wilmac’s Pharmacy on Collins Avenue for two years, solidifying all that he had learned abroad. He used this time to benefit from his father’s wisdom and learn all he could about the business climate in The Bahamas as it related to the pharmaceutical field. During his tenure at Wilmac’s he made a significant contribution to the business – he dragged his father kicking and screaming into the new age of technology.
Kurt was a strong, silent member of the family who consistently gave good advice. In fact, it was he who noticed Cyd’s passion for the oral cavity, suggested that she explore the profession and ultimately encouraged her to become a dentist. He had a very placid nature and was kind to a fault. His kindheartedness and generosity was far reaching as he showed kindness to family, friends, and even more remarkably to total strangers. Kurt was loyal. Over the years many friends were on the receiving end of his all-inclusive nature and became extended members of the family as they took up residence in the family home at his invitation.
A comedian extraordinaire, Kurt was notorious for his side-splitting wit and charm. He loved Saturday Night Live as a child, but of course was afraid to stay down stairs alone to watch it and would beg Yvette to accompany him to the TV room. Kurt appreciated and enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved boating and spending time on the water. He never took anything for granted. He worked hard and smart, and thrived on playing hard as well.
In 1997 Kurt expressed his inner entrepreneur. He left the safety of his Dad’s store and opened Wilmac’s Pharmacy #2 on Poinciana Drive. Wilmac’s Poinciana was not Kurt’s first successful business venture. His business savvy was evident at an early age. Without his parent’s knowledge, Kurt would skillfully orchestrate the sale of the family’s groceries to neighborhood children for a handsome profit. ‘Kurt’s Home Store’ also offered an entertainment center where children could come in and enjoy a game of Pac Man on the Atari for an additional fee of $0.25 per game. And of course no entertainment center is complete without popcorn and drinks, so Kurt ensured that they were also available to patrons with even more change to spare. With profits from this very lucrative business venture Kurt made his first investment, and he purchased a bike. He loved his new bike so much that he insisted on parking it in his bedroom.
A consummate cook, gardener, and interior decorator, Kurt’s home is a sanctuary of creativity. He loved construction projects and was always eager to begin and complete a new one. He was a jack-of-all-trades and a master of many. Christmas was his favorite time of the year as he looked forward with a great sense of anticipation to decorating the house, preparing extravagant Christmas diners, and enjoying the music of the season. Kurt bought the most original gifts. His nieces and nephew always looked forward to what “Uncle Kurty” would bring. He graciously took the lead in family planning and preparation.
Clearly the favorite child of Marina, Kurt loved his mother and enjoyed the special bond of working together and sharing an office with her at the pharmacy. He worked unceasingly to ensure that she was always confortable no matter what.
An admirable tradition of the McCartney family is the Wednesday afternoon family lunch. As long as the children are on the island, they all get together at various restaurants to share a weekly family lunch date and words of wisdom from their matriarch. Following the family lunch, Kurt and Bran could be found at various establishments completely disregarding the intelligent guidance their mother had given them prior. They prided themselves on discussing business and solving the world’s problems. Bran and Kurt were not only brothers, they were best friends and consistently supported each other through life’s winding paths. They truly shared life and enjoyed a very special bond.
On Thursday 24th October, without forewarning or explanation, the sun set on this exceptional life.