Debra Gertrude Kaufmann

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
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On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, our beloved Debra Gertrude Kaufmann passed from our midst at the residence she shared with her one true love, Jim Adzima, in Greenville, Penn. Debra was born a few minutes after her identical twin sister on Oct. 29, 1960, in Roundup, Mont. She was 59 years old.

Raised on the family ranch in Fergus County, Debra learned as a child the ranch-life ethic to be unafraid of hard work, an ethic she embraced with gusto throughout her life. Debra enjoyed the outdoors life that comes with a ranch and, in addition to the year-round chores and animal husbandry duties, was an enthusiastic sledder, ice skater, and snowball hurler in winter, and an avid gardener, hayer, and water sprinkler bather in summer. Debra received her education in Grass Range and graduated from high school in 1979. She attended a year at Montana State University in Bozeman, and a second year at Eastern Montana College in Billings.

Debra had an astute business mind, which became apparent soon after moving to Billings, when she, with her twin, Suzanne, co-founded a business, which had notable clients such as Rocky Mountain Bell. After building a robust reputation and clientele, the business partners sold their first company only to reinvest in a larger, more impactful start-up. The dynamic duo repeated their entrepreneurial growth cycle twice more in Billings, before selling the last Montana company and moving their talent to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1987.

Debra landed on her feet in Albuquerque, and entered the financial servicing sector, once more as a partner with her sister. Debra soon bought out her partner, and after building a valuable and loyal client base, sold the company to a large financial company. Debra continued to flourish in the sector until her death. She threw herself into the work, often having only Christmas day off over the holidays. Such commitment for workplace excellence astounded her co-workers and set a high bar for production and company values.

Along the way, Debra endeavored into software development, real estate, and land development. Debra travelled widely on company business, staying in the finest hotels and appreciating the valet service. She found time to be an avid hiker and skier in Albuquerque and Durango, Colo., and to raise and love three miniature schnauzers.

In 2015, Debra’s career took her to Phoenix, Ariz., where she worked as a strategic account manager for TSYS Acquiring Solutions, in Tempe. Debra assisted in growing revenue, enhancing partnerships, and overseeing growth opportunities for existing and new partnerships. Debra excelled in understanding partners’ business models and offering them product solutions. More important than her professional success in Phoenix, God brought Debra to Jim, who, in their short five years together, gave Debra a lifetime of love and enjoyment.

With her beloved, Debra’s horizon expanded to riding Harleys, going RV-ing, snowbirding, country line dancing and swing, entertaining numerous friends, and building a hemp / CBD farm. Debra confided to her family that meeting Jim was the best thing that ever happened to her, but her avowal was unnecessary because her loved ones knew the joy that being so loved and desired by him beloved gave her: it was evident in her smile, in her voice, in her self-presentation, and in her youthful glint in her eyes.

Though Debra was a successful career business woman, she did not let her demanding job interfere with her being an active and loving aunt. She enjoyed especially making birthdays and Christmases special to her nephews and nieces in Montana, in New Mexico, and in Virginia. Debra was no less afraid of showing her love as she was to working hard. To each, she gave her best effort, and such devotion touched deeply all of her family, her co-workers, and her clients. She was admired by many.

Debra was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Charles and Gertrude Kaufmann, by her maternal grandparents, Theodore and Ethel Schultz, by her father, John Kaufmann, by her sister-in-law, Rosalyn Kaufmann, and by her brother-in-law, Donald Templeton.

Debra is survived by her mother, MaryLee Kaufmann, by her aunt Patricia Stolle, by her siblings and their spouses, Jon Kaufmann, Kerry and Douglas Gardner, Jeffrey and Annie Kaufmann, and Suzanne Templeton, and by her nieces and nephews and their spouses, Jake Kaufmann, John Ross and Carmen Kaufmann, Ren and Tiffany Gardner, KayCee and Chase Moore, Myles Gardner, JT Kaufmann, Kalina Kaufmann, Adrienne and Michael O’Loughlin, and Donny Templeton.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Debra’s name to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, at www.dbsalliance. org or at www.charitynavigator.org.

A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 29, at 1 p.m. at the Central Montana Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Lewistown. Following the graveside service, a reception will follow at the First Christian Church, 103 12th Ave. S., Lewistown, MT 59457. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.

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