My life's journey was completed on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. What a wonderful life it has been! My name is Ruth Elizabeth (Thompson) Kaufmann, daughter, sister, teacher, wife, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother.
I was born on December 19, 1922 in Wausau, WI to Harold and Linda Thompson. I attended schools in the Antigo area, graduating from Antigo High School in 1940. I continued my studies at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, graduating in 1944 with a degree in elementary education. My first teaching position was in Marinette earning $1,300 per year. Two years later I moved to Manitowoc and taught third grade at Cleveland School. I married Joe Kaufmann in 1948. He preceded me in death on June 11, 2012. Seven children, many old cars, a BIG family and many dear friends were my passengers as I steered down a busy and happy road of life.
I loved to teach and guide my children. We were always busy with projects: music lessons, home work, cooking and endless artistic endeavors like decorating cookies, Easter eggs, gift wrapping, and more. I, myself, wore out three sewing machines making three generations happy stitching my quilts, costumes, doll clothes and prom dresses!
Throughout my life I was passionate about Scouting and spent 30 years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for my five daughters, Den Mother for my two sons, and served on the Manitou G.S. Council Board of Directors. I was an active member of St. Boniface and Francis of Assisi parishes involved with St. Ann and volunteered with St. Vincent De Paul for over 25 years.
Our old country farm house, my flower gardens and wild birds were a labor of love that brought me delight and the countless gatherings there kept family, friends, love and laughter at hand.
My husband and I enjoyed the many friends, good times and adventures we shared together while driving our antique cars across the U.S. as members of our antique and classic car clubs: ACD (Auburn Cord Duesenberg ), AACA(Antique Automobile Club of America), HCCA (Horseless Carriage Club of America), and our favorite - The Brass Nuts.
Survivors include my children and their spouses: Mary Jo (John) Stangel, Manitowoc, Dale Francar, Denmark, Sarah (Bill) Parry, San Diego, CA, Holly Kaufmann, Los Angeles, CA, Linda (Ed) Miller, Manitowoc, Paul (Dawn) Kaufmann, Manitowoc, Tom (Laura) Kaufmann, Knapp, WI. I am further survived by one sister: Mary Flanagan, Azle, TX and one brother and sister-in-law: William and Suzanne (Forbes) Thompson, Green Valley, AZ; One sister-in-law and brother-in-law Agnes and Adolph "Bucky" Drobka, Milwaukee.
My 15 grandchildren who also survived and loved to visit us at "The Farm" include: Katie, Peter and Patrick Stangel, Tristan Francar, Anna (Jason) Mattocks, and Morgan Francar,
Auburn (Pat) Burt, Amanda (Brad) Belongia, Amber (Travis) Preston, and Jacob Kaufmann, Mitchel and Spencer Miller, and Clara, Victor and Issabella Kaufmann. I am further survived by seven great grandchildren. I am also survived by dozens of nieces and nephews. I was preceded in death by my husband Joe, by my parents: Harold and Linda Thompson, my daughter Beth (Kaufmann) Francar; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Thomas Flanagan, Milton and Edna Kaufmann, Harry and Dottie Kaufmann, Glenn and Emily Kaufmann and Mildred and Paul Fischl.
Please join my family and friends in remembering the good times!
Cremation has taken place at All-Care Cremation Center, Manitowoc, and funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 12, 2012 at St. Francis of Assisi on Grand Ave. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be the Rev. Richard Klingeisen with burial of cremated remains to follow at Calvary Cemetery, Manitowoc.
The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, November 12, 2012 at St. Francis of Assisi on Grand Ave. from 8:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.
Memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul or St. Francis of Assisi.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.pfefferfuneralhome.com
The Pfeffer Funeral Home and All-Care Cremation Center, Manitowoc, are assisting the family with funeral arrangements.