On Sept. 25, 2015, surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him, Howard Robert “Bob” Kaufman Jr., 88, was called home by his Lord and Savior. Born July 28th, 1927, he was the son of Howard Robert Kaufman and Ruby Smith Kaufman who were waiting to welcome him home.
Family he leaves behind are his beloved wife of 59 years, Bobbie Jo Coryea Kaufman; his children, Lisa Jo (Bill) Bryant, Howard Robert “Rob” (Melissa) Kaufman lll, and Patti Sue Kaufman; his grandchildren, Brandy (John) White, Robert (Brandy) Stroh, Cory (Hayley) Byers, and Howard Robert “Bobby” Kaufman IV; two sisters-in-law, Dottie Hiten Coryea and Billie Jo Coryea Jackson; a brother-in-law, Steve Jackson; a nephew, Nathan (Aileen) Jackson; a niece, Amy Jo (Jan) Lambrecht; a great-niece, Shelby Jo Lambrecht and great-nephews, Cooper Jackson Lambrecht and Harrison Edward Jackson.
Bob was preceded in death by brother-in-law, Jack Coryea.
Bob enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school near the end of World War ll. Stationed in Miami, Florida, till the end of the war; Bob repaired Navy fighter planes which began his admiration for the mighty Corsair. Following his military service, he returned to Indiana and attended Lane Drafting School in Indianapolis. Bob began his career as a union brick mason working alongside his father, Howard, who started Kaufman Masonry in the early 1900’s. Bob, his father and crew did the brick and stonework on the First Baptist Church on Community Drive in Seymour. Bob took over the business after his father’s retirement and continued to do such quality work through the years that his skills were much sought after by contractors in the surrounding area. Before passing, Bob had the longest membership of the First Baptist Church, joining at the age of 9. He served on almost every board in the church, drove the bus, ushered and was always available to lend a hand with repairs or maintenance. He was very civic-minded and was elected to the Seymour City Council from 1972 to 1976. He was appointed to the Seymour Planning Commission and served there for 17 years. In 1989, Bob was presented with the Seymour Service Award from then Mayor, Bill Bailey.
Bob developed a passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the first time his father took him to the track as a youth. In the mid 70’s, Bob was part of the upstart Jack Rhodes Race Team and was a member of the “over the wall” gang, being the jack man for several years. In later years, Bob met and became lifelong friends with legendary car builder and mechanic AJ Watson. Watson in the past had built 5 Indy 500 winners. Bob then worked and traveled with PDM Race Team all over the country and twice to Australia for the Gold Coast Grand Prix. This past May, Bob joined the elite group of Gold Hat members of the “Old Timers Club” which represents 50 years of service to the speedway.
Bob worked hard but found time for his family, church, and his many hobbies. Besides his passion for Indy Car racing, he loved motorcycles, especially the British-built Triumphs. Over the years, his interests also included guns and hunting, building CB radios, bowling, model rocketry, U-line and later on RC airplanes and, in most recent years, he enjoyed his computers and learned how to attract and raise Monarch butterflies. He watched many Monarchs begin their long migration south. Bob traveled many places throughout the United States but his favorite destination was Destin, Florida. He also enjoyed visiting the Kennedy Space Center and during the “Space Race” attended several Apollo and Space Shuttle launches.
Meticulous in his work, strong in his faith and beliefs, Bob leaves behind his wife, family and friends, who love him, will miss him and will cherish his memory always.
Funeral service will be at First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive, on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2015, at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Larry Tingle, officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, with full military graveside service provided by the honor guard of the V.F.W Post 1925 and The American Legion Post 89.
Friends and family may call at Voss Funeral Service, 316 North Chestnut Street, on from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and at the church after 9 a.m. until time of service Wednesday.
The family requests that memorials be written to The First Baptist Church or The American Cancer Society.
A complete obituary may be viewed on the funeral home website at www.vossfuneralservice.com.