Helen Marie Kauffman (Garcia), 67, of Inverness, passed away peacefully at 10:14 p.m., Jan. 28, 2013, at her residence. She was born May 20, 1945, in LaJunta, Colo., to Clarence and Almeda Kauffman. Survivors include her daughter, Erika Garcia of Peoria, Ill.; her son, David Garcia of Morton, Ill.; sister, Clarice (Gale) Bevans of Twin Falls, Idaho; and two grandchildren, Aysia Graham, 15, and Zared Garcia, 13, both of Peoria, Ill.
Helen was a stewardess for United Airlines, but after moving to Illinois, she worked as an administrative assistant for Caterpillar, was a senior systems analyst for IBM, and also worked senior administration for Cullian Properties. She later returned to Caterpillar before retiring in the '90s and moving to the sunny state of Florida.
Helen was the quintessential Elvis fan. She was a huge Chicago Bears fan, known to skip church on Sunday if the Bears were playing. She was also a hardcore Chicago Bulls fan and loved baseball as well. She adored cats, gardening and tinkering in her workshop with tools and making shelves, etc. Helen was a Christian woman who took her relationship with God very seriously. She also loved Dale Ernhardt and racing in general, which was reflected in her choice of cars, including a red Corvette, a Dodge Stealth and a souped-up Trans Am. She was out of control if a coconut cream pie entered the room and she loved beers in the evening with friends on the porch. Helen had the best laugh in the world and was a generous, sweet-natured daughter, sister, and mother who enhanced every life she touched. A finer woman would not be found.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at Heinz Funeral Home in Inverness. The family will receive friends from noon until the hour of service. A reception will follow at the Inverness Country Club for food and fellowship. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society. Heinz Funeral Home & Cremation, Inverness.
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