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Merlyn Kaufmann

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Merlyn Kaufmann Obituary
Kaufmann, Merlyn T. "Joe"

If you are reading this, my life's journey is now complete on June 11, 2012 and what a journey it has been. My name is Merlyn T. "Joe" Kaufmann, "The Duesenberg Doctor". I lived at 4523 Hwy CR on Duesenberg Drive in Manitowoc.

I was born June 29, 1921, in Manitowoc, to Agnes (Waniger) and William Kaufmann. I attended St. Boniface Grade School and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1939. I served in the Navy and later in the Army Air Force between 1942 and 1946. I served in Guam in the 19th B-29 Bombing Group. I married Ruth Thompson on August 21, 1948 at St, Boniface Catholic Church, Manitowoc. I founded Kaufmann Auto Service and Restoration in 1948.

The Auto Service business eventually became mainly "restoration' of which the Duesenberg became one of my specialties that brought people from all over the world to my shop to restore their cars. Cars owned by Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Marion Davies and Greta Garbo were just a few of the many classic cars I had the privilege of restoring to their original glory. My expertise and love of Duesenbergs, led me to Auburn, Indiana for my annual pilgrimage to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg reunion beginning in 1956 to present day, which is held every Labor Day weekend.

The great times and memories with my 1911 Model T Ford, the 1917 Model T Ford and my 1930 Model A Ford "Woody" will never be forgotten. I was active in many car organizations: ACD Club (Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club), CCCA (Classic Car Club of America), AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America), VMCCA (Veteran Motor Car Club of America), Model A Club, Model T Club, and the HCCA (Horseless Carriage Club of America).

Survivors include my loving wife: Ruth; and my children and their spouses: Mary Jo and John Stangel, Manitowoc, Dale Francar, Denmark, Sarah and Bill Parry, Coronado, California, Holly Kaufmann, Los Angeles, California, Linda and Ed Miller, Manitowoc, Paul and Dawn Kaufmann, Manitowoc, Tom and Laura Kaufmann, Knapp, WI. I am further survived by a sister and brother-in-law: Aggie and Adolph Drobka, Milwaukee. My grandchildren who loved to visit us at "The Farm' include Katie, Peter and Patrick Stangel, Tristan Francar, Anna and Jason Mattocks, Morgan Francar, Auburn and Patrick Burt, Amanda and Brad Belongia, Amber and Travis Preston, Jacob Cord Kaufmann, Mitchel and Spencer Miller and Clara, Victor and Isabella Kaufmann. I am survived by 5 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and the best group of friends anyone could have.

I was preceded in death by my parents, my daughter: Beth Francar, three brothers and sisters-in-law: Milton and Edna, Glenn and Emily, Harry and Dottie; and one sister and brother-in-law: Millie 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 Friday, June 15, 2012 at St. Francis of Assisi - Grand, Manitowoc. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be the Rev. Dan Felton. Military rites will be accorded by the V.F.W. Otto Oas Post 659.

The family will greet relatives and friends for a memorial visitation on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at the Pfeffer Funeral Home, Manitowoc from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. where a prayer service will conclude the visitation led by Deacon Rich Bahnaman. The visitation will continue on Friday, June 15, 2012 at St. Francis of Assisi - Grand from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting

The Pfeffer Funeral Home and All-Care Cremation Center, Manitowoc, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.


Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter on June 12, 2012
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