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Obituary of Vic John Kaufman
Vic Kaufman, a longtime resident and familiar face to many in Thurston County, recently passed away after a lengthy illness on May 15, 2023, in Olympia, Washington. Vic was born at the family home in Montrose, Missouri, in the winter of 1939. He was the third of four young children who experienced tragedy when their mother, Bertha, died when Vic was three years old. Vic’s dad, Lawrence, married Leona Fessler four years later, and the family moved to South Dakota where Vic and his siblings attended school in a one-room schoolhouse.
Vic had a tremendous work ethic from a very young age. At 10 and 11 years old, he and his brother, Marvin, formed a partnership, the Kaufman Brothers, by using the profit earned from raising turkeys together to open a bank account. Vic was adventurous, bold and creative, continuing to earn a living by shearing sheep until he joined the U.S. Navy at just 17.
While stationed for a time in Astoria, Oregon, Vic met the love of his life, Liz Puckett, at a grange hall in Portland, Oregon. Johnny Cash, a newcomer to the music industry, was the evening entertainment. Liz was impressed that Vic was a great dancer and, the next day, he invited her to go roller skating. She could not believe he could waltz on skates and skate backwards! Vic was discharged from the Navy on his 21st birthday. Two weeks later, he and Liz were married at St. Michael Catholic Church in Olympia in February of 1960.
After a two-year period of living in South Dakota, Vic and Liz returned to Olympia in 1961 and, over the next several years, were blessed with three children, Theresa, Cindy, and John. Vic worked in construction until he and his brother Marvin and a neighbor, Joe Perrott, bought a small construction company from Bud Barton. The business name was Perrott – Kaufman Construction until 1972 when Marvin and Vic bought out Joe and formed Kaufman Brothers Construction. Vic was extremely proud that the success of their construction company provided an average of 30 jobs in Thurston County for over 50 years, and thrilled that he and Marvin were able to pass the company on to the next generation in 2011.
While achieving what most would call the “American Dream” through the success of that early partnership with his brother, Vic felt his proudest accomplishment was raising his three children. Truly, his greatest pleasure was spending time with his children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Vic was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church and rarely did he miss Sunday mass. His many hobbies included country dancing, cow penning and roping with his favorite horse, backpacking, hunting, gardening, and he loved the great outdoors. Vic was a cowboy at heart, and he was well known in the Thurston County horse community.
Vic is survived by his wife of 63 years, Liz Kaufman; his sisters, Shirley Fellhoelter, Joyce Kessler, Mary Lee Moreland (Harold), and Vida Billings (Chris); brothers, Marvin Kaufman (Shelley), Tim Kaufman (Debbie), and Larry Kaufman; daughters, Theresa Wall (Ron) and Cindy Homann (Tracy); son, John Kaufman (Gail); grandchildren, Reid Wall (Sammi), Riley Wall (Sophie) Jake Homann (Alisha), Amanda Homann (Shaun Ridley), Emma Homann, Calli Kaufman, Cassie Kaufman, and Cade Kaufman; and great-grandchildren, Rhett, Cooper and Audrey Wall, and Cash, Colton, Camden and Zayden Homann. Vic was preceded in death by his mother, Bertha Fick Kaufman; his father, Lawrence Kaufman (Leona); and brothers-in-law, David Fellhoelter, and Earl Kessler.
The family is grateful to the compassionate, caring and kind caregivers who tended to Vic during his prolonged illness.
The family invites you to attend the funeral mass of Vic Kaufman on June 16, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church in Olympia, with reception following at 12:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Alzheimer’s Association – Washington State Chapter, 19031 33rd Avenue W, Suite 302, Lynnwood, WA 98036.
Happy Trails until we meet again!
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