Lt. Col. Robert (Bob) Kauffman opened his eyes one last time on January 28, 2021 to see his loving family by his side as he peacefully passed on to the recitation of the Lord’s prayer.
He is survived by his sister, Kay Orr; two daughters and their husbands: Jan Marie Ward and her husband Norman E. Ward III; and Sandra Kauffman and her
husband Michael Doucette; and three grandsons, Dr. Bryan Ward, David Ward, and Peter Doucette. He was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Josephine Bowman Kauffman, his brother Richard Kauffman, and sister Ruth Kauffman Harvey.
Bob was born in Tower City, Pennsylvania on July 5th, 1936, to his parents Ralph and Eva Kauffman. He was a brother of Phi Delta Theta at Gettysburg College where he earned a degree in history. While in college, he met his first wife, Ellen B. Yarborough, the mother of his two daughters.
He served as an officer in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of Lt. Col. before retiring and continuing to support veterans through his work for the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association in Ft. Meyer, Virginia. He was an Army Ranger and served two tours in Vietnam as an infantry officer. He retired from the Army from an assignment in the Pentagon as the Chief of retirement Services. He was a true patriot, and would have been so honored that his family had Alexa play the National Anthem and Taps shortly after his passing.
He was a strong, tough, and sometimes complicated man, but he also had a very gentle and loving heart. He dearly loved his wife Josie and his cat, Trapper, who brought out his more gentle and loving tendencies. He was not afraid to shed a tear at the movies, or even during a sentimental commercial. He was generous with his time and resources and would give you the shirt off of his back.
He loved the outdoors and sharing it with family at his lake house on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. He loved fishing -- even if the fish didn’t love his bait -- and being on the water as it afforded time to relax and be with family. After leaving Virginia, he spent a few years in Monticello, Arkansas before moving to Thornton Hall in Brunswick, Maine in 2019 to be closer to family.
Bob’s family would like to give heartfelt thanks to the staff at Thornton Hall and Mid Coast Hospital, and to the CHANS hospice team, all of whom treated him with great care and respect, and eased our journey towards the end of his life.
He will be buried at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine in May.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, or the Oasis Free Clinics in Brunswick, Maine.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of LT. COL. Robert Ralph Kauffman (RET), please visit our floral store.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256