John “Jack” Gleason Kaufmann

During the early morning of Oct. 19, 2015, Jack passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Pinewood Nursing Home in Whigham, Ga. Jack had been visited and comforted by family members while trying to recover from an ischemic stroke that he had suffered in September. The family is grateful to his caregiver, Mr. Mike Williams, who took such good care of John while living at WellSprings Place, an assisted living home in Thomasville, Ga. John was 89 years old.

John Kaufmann was born in Austin, Minn., on April 7, 1926. He was the second son of Gertrude and Charles Kaufmann. Upon graduating from high school in Mason City, Iowa, John entered the armed services. He served as a Rifleman with the 15th Infantry in the Rhineland Theater during the final year of WWII, and afterwards during the repatriation of Paris, France. He helped rebuild the Paris Zoo. He traveled widely in northern Europe during this time. He left the service as a Sergeant, earning the Victory Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars, two Overseas Service Bars, Army of Occupation Medal, Meritorious Unit Award and a Purple Heart Medal. 

Jack then followed his parents to Fergus County, where his father had homesteaded before WWI. He owned the BarVX ranch, near Grass Range for 30 years, raising his family, producing fine grass-fed Angus cattle, and enjoying his “hobby” as a dog breeder.

Jack’s purpose on earth was to befriend as many animals as possible. He turned his hobby into a lifelong pursuit of caring for all kinds of domesticated animals. In terms of biblical characters, Jack emulated Noah and his ark. Besides opening his home to rescued dogs, he gave to many animal charities, including the ASPCA: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; the American Humane Association; Animal Crisis Care; Animal Legal Defense Fund; Animals For Adoption; Dogs Deserve Better, Inc.; Environmental Defense Fund; Friends of Animals; Humane Society of the United States; International Fund for Animal Welfare; and Save the Animals. He was also a major contributor to the American Indian Youth Charities in Montana.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Gertrude Kaufmann, and by his brother, Charles “Chuck” Kaufmann.

John Kaufmann is survived by the mother of his five children, Mary “Marylee” Elizabeth Kaufmann of Albuquerque, N.M.; by his son Jonathan Kaufmann of Grass Range; his daughter Kerry (Doug) Gardner of Hammond, Mont.; his son Jeffrey (Annie) Kaufmann of Alexandria, Va.; his daughters Suzanne (Don) Templeton of Albuquerque, N.M. and Debra (Steve) Kirk of Chandler, Ariz.; grandchildren: Jake and John Kaufmann, Ren (Tiffany), KayCee and Myles Gardner, T.J. and Kalina Kaufmann and Donnie and Adrienne Templeton; five great-grandchildren: Carson, Cooper, Colton, and Clayton Gardner and Teagan O’Loughlin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ASPCA: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A memorial graveside service will be held on Monday, Aug. 22, at 1 p.m. at the Roundup Cemetery. Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home of Broadus, Mont. is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting:  www.stevensonandsons.com.

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