James Kauffman, formerly of Dunedin (FL), Billerica (MA), and Altoona (PA), died on July 16th. He passed quietly with family at his side. Among those who remain behind to morn his loss: his wife Kathryn, his son John, his daughters Christine and Lisa, his sister Suzanne, a nephew Glenn, as well as four grandchildren. He takes with him his dry wit, an affinity for outdoor activities (bicycling, boating, etc) that you might not guess of someone who spent his life working indoors, and devotion to a woman he could not leave behind on a Massachusetts beach – more than fifty years ago. He was 78 years old.
Jim – as he was known to family and friends – earned degrees at Penn State University and Ohio State University, concluding with a master’s degree in Physics. He went on to work as an engineer for three different employers before he retired: Block Engineering, Honeywell, and Brunswick. However, he spent the bulk of his career at Honeywell, in Clearwater, FL.
Although he could be cagey about the specifics of his job (he once got into trouble for bringing his young son to the office on the weekend), he took pride in working on various projects over the years involving manned and unmanned spaceflight. Additionally, more than one creation bears his name at the U.S. Patent Office.
He rarely missed a week of Church at his long-time parish: Lutheran Church of the Palms (Palm Harbor, FL), held a number of offices on the governing council (including president), and seldom said no when asked to serve in any capacity.
Jim leaves this life much as he lived it. He spent much of his time savoring the quiet joy of a good book or taking the quiet satisfaction of solving puzzles – in many forms – both designed and spun from life’s exquisite chaos. Through it all, he always gave much more than he received.
A private memorial service will be held in the near future.
In lieu of flowers – in line with what his family believes would be his wishes – please consider either a gift to your local church or your local NPR Station.