James Thomas Kauffman
James Thomas Kauffman of Swansboro, NC went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, September 23rd. He passed away, at the age of 70, at Duke University Medical Center surrounded by friends and family and was able to laugh, joke and share memories right up until his final moments.
Jim was born in 1950 at Memorial hospital in Cumberland, Maryland. He was the son of Richard W. Kauffman Sr. and Lydia Ann (Dawson) Kauffman of Fort Ashby, WV, where he grew up. He graduated from Ft. Ashby High School in 1967 and then attended Potomac State College and earned an associate’s degree. He married Cheryl (Holtzman) Kauffman, his high school sweetheart in 1969. He furthered his education at West Virginia University where he received a bachelor’s degree and four master’s degrees. He had two sons, Corey and Joshua, and lived for many years in Keyser, WV and was very involved in the Mineral County education system. Over the years he was a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, vice-principal, assistant director of curriculum and principal. His final position in his 17-year career in education was principal of Keyser High School where he was loved by students, teachers, parents, faculty and staff.
After he left public education, he began a career in manufacturing as plant manager of Automated Packaging Systems. He enjoyed a successful career taking on many roles within the company and retired as Executive Vice-President in 2010. He was extremely proud of his company and especially the people he worked with at the Keyser factory. He had an affinity for working with people and bringing out the best in them. He was honored with Mineral County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2010 for promoting business and employment in the county.
He retired with Cheryl in Swansboro, NC where they have lived happily for the past 10 years. He was an active member of Midway United Methodist Church in Stella, NC. He enjoyed crabbing, shrimping, cooking and travelling. Most of all, he treasured his family and friends.
Jim is survived by his wife of 51 years, Cheryl, son Corey and wife Samia of Alexandria, VA, son Joshua and wife Mitra and the highlight of his life, his two grandsons Jackson and Matthew of Arlington, VA. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard Kauffman, Jr. of Fort Ashby. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Connie Kauffman, niece Candy Bradshaw and husband Gary Bradshaw, Nephews Cobey Kauffman and Clinton Kauffman and wife Christy, and great nieces and nephews Tia, Mia and Shanna Bradshaw, Cobey Jr., Cristen, Chloe and Caleb Kauffman.
Jim was a giant in every sense of the word and in all aspects of his life. He has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people and made the world a better place. He was a favorite son and great ambassador of the state of West Virginia and Mineral County.
In lieu of flowers or contributions, please do something kind for someone in your community and when you think of Jim, please smile.