John Harvey Kaufman, 87, passes away
Colorado native John Harvey Kaufman died of heart failure and pneumonia on Wednesday, May 21, at the age of 87. John was born to Byron Hale Kaufman and Anna Virginia Kaufman on November 29, 1920 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.
He was the oldest of four children. John graduated from Lakewood High School and attended college at Denver University for a short period of time. He then worked at University Park Lumber Company in South Denver where he learned how to keep their books.
In September of 1940, he attended a dance at Colorado Women’s College where he met Kathryn (Kit) Sawyers. They were married a year later. Four children blessed their marriage, Judy, Scott, Jim and Tom.
After Pearl Harbor, he and three buddies were hired for a year to work on under ground storage tanks in Hawaii. During this period, his daughter Judy was born.
After being home for three months, he enlisted in the See Bees. Upon completion of his basic training in Mississippi, he was shipped back to Hawaii where he spent 2 1/2 years.
John’s family was living in Ainsworth, Nebraska with his wife’s father and mother during this period of time. John and Kit lived here for six years. During this time, two sons were born, Scott Norman and James Richard. In 1949, the family moved back to the Denver area, where John became an acoustical contractor, installing ceilings in large buildings at banks at the Air Force Academy and other places. The Kaufman’s youngest child, Thomas Steven, was born while they were in the process of building a home in the Lakewood area.
After the children were grown, John and Kit moved to Breckenridge. There they were involved in many things: They managed some condominium units south of Breckenridge for two years, then moved into town. John became a realtor and he and Kit both became E.M.T.s.
John was preceded in death by three of his four children, Judith Lynne Hammack, Scott Norman Kaufman and James Richard Kaufman. He survived by his wife Kit and one son, Thomas Steven Kaufman. Also surviving is Tom’s wife Sheryl, six granddaughters, three great granddaughters and one great grandson.
John was a fire chief in Breckenridge for several years and also a volunteer with Animas Fire Services. A memorial service will be held on June 28, at the First United Methodist Church in Durango at 10 a.m. with Durango Fire and Rescue assisting.
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