Memorial funds established, visitation scheduled for family of officer who died from COVID-19
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - The Fond du Lac Police Department has announced one of their own has died from COVID-19 complications.
According to Police Chief Aaron Goldstein, 26-year-old Joseph Kurer, an officer with the department, has died from the disease. The officer’s death happened the day after his wife gave birth to a baby.
Police say Officer Kurer passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 22. His death is considered a line of duty death. “All evidence indicates that Officer Joseph Kurer contracted COVID-19 while on duty,” the police department said the next day.
A GoFundMe page was created for donations for Officer Kurer’s family. CLICK HERE to donate. Police say the money raised will go to the officer’s children. It is the only official GoFundMe for the family.
A memorial fund is set up at National Exchange Bank. Donations can be dropped off at any branch. Make checks payable to “Joseph Kurer Memorial Fund.”
Officer Kurer was escorted from the hospital to a funeral home by a law enforcement procession overnight. Officers stood by his side until the services were complete.
The police department says he’s the second law enforcement officer in Wisconsin to die of COVID-19 contracted in the line of duty.
According to a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s report, Kurer was positive for COVID-19 on August 4. After running a fever for six days, he went to the St. Agnes Hospital emergency department with shortness of breath, cough and chills. He was transferred to Froedert Hospital two days later, and was on a ventilator since August 22. He’ll be an organ donor.
Kurer had been with the Fond du Lac Police Department since August 6, 2018, and was a member of the Tactical Field Force Team, the Honor Guard Unit, Domestic Violence Intervention Team, and was also certified as a Field Training Officer. Chief Goldstein says Kurer has received multiple awards, including the City of Fond du Lac Police Department Life Saving Award.
Chief Goldstein says Kurer is survived by his wife and two children, one of whom was born the night before Kurer died. He is also survived by his parents and sister.
According to an obituary posted on Zacherl Funeral Home, Kurer’s family will hold a visitation for relatives, friends and fellow officers at Holy Family Catholic Church in Fond du Lac from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28. Another visitation will be held Wednesday from 9-10:30 a.m. Law enforcement honors and military honors will follow a mass being held at 11 a.m. CLICK HERE to write on the Tribute Wall set up for Kurer.
“Our entire Fond du Lac Police Department family mourns the passing of Officer Joseph Kurer. Our love and condolences go out to Joseph’s wife and children and all those with whom he served. We, as a police department family will do everything possible to continue to provide support and comfort to Joseph’s family. Joseph will be missed by everyone here,” says Goldstein.
Police were unable to release information on the officer’s vaccination status. The department says it does not provide details on vaccination status out of respect for privacy.
“Our entire Department mourns with the Kurer family at this unbelievably difficult time. I truly believe that the last thing any of us want to do is unintentionally add to the pain of losing Joseph. The Kurer family has asked me to convey their request for privacy at this time, and to ask the media to send any inquiries to the Department rather than the family. We need to make every effort to show respect for the family’s needs and allow them to mourn in private,” says Goldstein.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released a statement offering support and prayers.
“Kathy and I were incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Joseph Kurer, Fond du Lac police officer and member of the Wisconsin National Guard, who tragically passed away in the line of duty due to COVID-19 complications. Our hearts go out to his wife, kids, parents, and sister, and all of his loved ones, especially as they had just welcomed a new baby to the family the night before Officer Kurer’s passing. We are also thinking of the Fond du Lac Police Department and the Fond du Lac community, and we ask the people of Wisconsin to join us in extending offers of support and prayers as they mourn Officer Kurer’s passing,” reads Gov. Evers’ statement.
The president of his high school alma mater, St. Mary’s Springs Academy, released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
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