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Gerald "Red" Kaufman

1938 - 2019
Gerald "Red" Kaufman Obituary
Gerald “Red” Kaufman

April 4, 1938 - Sept. 28, 2019

BREMEN, IN - Gerald “Red' Kaufman, 81 years old, passed away on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Gerald was born in LaPorte, IN on April 4, 1938 to Charles and Margaret (Albert) Kaufman and was a life-long resident of the area.

On May 20, 1961, in Crumstown, IN, he married Judith Eslinger, who preceded him in death on February 14, 2001. Also preceding him in death are his parents, Charles (Norma) Kaufman and Margaret (Judd) Worthington. On September 29, 2001, Red married Diane (Peterson) Hardy, who survives. He is also survived by his son, Jerry Kaufman of Bremen, IN; brother, Charles (Renee) Kaufman, Jr. of South Bend, IN; sister, Betty Lou (Don) Cornelis of Niles, MI; granddaughter, Tara Kaufman and great-grandson, Brayden Hayes of Galien, MI; stepson, Christopher Hardy of South Bend, IN; and many nieces and nephews.

Red had many different jobs and titles throughout his life. He was a farmer for many years, mostly on property that was within what is now Potato Creek State Park. He and Judy stopped farming when the state took over the land; he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad in various capacities; he was co-owner of a gas station on the corner of Crumstown Highway and Mayflower Road in South Bend. At one point, he was working all three of these jobs at the same time.

One of his early jobs as a truck driver was working as a team semi driver, transporting guided missiles from one military base to another. The company's home base was in Dover, Delaware. From there, they would go to Edwards Air Force Base in New Mexico and then on to other bases, including one in California, Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota and more. Then back to Delaware.

Red worked for A.H. Perfect in Fort Wayne until that plant closed and he transferred to Redi Froze in South Bend. He worked for Redi Froze for many years, retiring in 1995. He started at Redi Froze as a semi-truck driver, then transferred to the maintenance department as an assistant plant manager. During this time, he took many courses and attended many trade schools to learn about welding ammonia pipes for refrigeration, how to repair and maintain lift trucks, and various other classes needed for his job. He became a certified repairman for Sullair compressors. His skills were so extensive that his company would “farm him out” to outside companies to do work for them; some of these companies included Donnelly Press, Maple Leaf Duck, and Zimmer, Inc. all of which are in the Warsaw, Indiana area. At one time, he also was sent to Newark, NJ to work on lift trucks on board a US Navy ship.

During his time at Redi Froze, he also worked, during breaks/vacations for Hull Lift Truck, Greyhound Bus Lines, and his cousin, Jerry Worthington delivering John Deere equipment around the country; and he helped Jerry Gundlach with farming chores and many other jobs that came up. After he retired, he worked for an auto parts company as a sales and delivery person.

He and Judy also owned and raced a World of Outlaw sprint car for several years. Red enjoyed fishing, traveling anywhere in his car, snowmobiling, NASCAR and sprint car racing. He also had a large garden, where he raised many different vegetables.

He was a very special man and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be held from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, October 4, 2019 at Palmer Funeral Home, 601 N. Michigan St., Lakeville, IN and one hour prior to the service at 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Cremation will follow the service. Burial will take place at a later date at Porter Rae Cemetery in Potato Creek State Park, North Liberty, IN.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Gerald Kaufman may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN 46637 or 112 S. Center Street, Plymouth, IN 46563; or to the . Online condolences may be offered to the Kaufman family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Oct. 2, 2019
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