Melvin "Mel" Kauffman, Greencroft Drive, Goshen, died Nov. 10, at Greencroft Goshen Health Care.
He was born in St. Johns, Michigan, to John and Mina (Edelman) Kauffman.
On June 2, 1953, he married Loretta F. Burkey in Goshen. She survives along with one son, Jeff L. Kauffman (Chris Holsopple); daughter-in-law, Cheryl Roth Kauffman (Bruce) Snyder; three sisters, Esther Kauffman, Mary Lou Meek and Ruth (Steve) Stump, all of Goshen; two brothers-in-law, Theron Schlabach, Goshen, and Kenny Oswald, Kansas.
Mel is also survived by five grandchildren, Nathan (Kelsey) Kauffman, Lyz (Alan) Zimmerman, Johnny Kauffman, Seth (Caitlin) Kauffman and Catie Kauffman; and three great-grandchildren, Landon, Kenzie and Sean.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, Robert (Bobby), in 1960, and James R. (Jamie) in 2004; as well as two sisters, Sara, Goshen, and Fern, Kansas; and two brothers-in-law, Kenny Kauffman and Phil Meek, Goshen.
An area resident since 1954 after his return from 1-W alternative civil service in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Mel retired in 1997 from the Elkhart County Parks Department. Earlier, he was co-owner of Gardners Power Lawn Products, after selling the family business Kauffman Greenhouse. He had earlier worked at Pine Manor.
After retiring, Mel was an avid volunteer. Both Mel and his wife, Loretta, spent 17 winters with the Services Opportunities for Older People service program in El Dorado, Arkansas.
He also offered energies to the Elkhart County Parks Department and Mennonite Disaster Service. At both Greencroft and Oaklawn, he was known as the "bird house guy," assuming the duties of building and maintaining bird houses and filling the bird feeders during the warmer seasons. Mel's volunteer motivations included his hopes to "make life better for others."
Mel was an active member of Benton Mennonite Church, where he enjoyed many youth and adult involvements. After moving to Greencroft, he and Loretta became members at College Mennonite Church. Most recently, he appreciated worship at Evergreen of Greencroft.
Mel donated his body to the Indiana University School of Medicine.
A visitation and memorial service will take place at College Mennonite Church, Goshen. Visitation will be from 4-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19.
Memorials may be directed to Mennonite Central Committee and the College Mennonite Church Student Aid Fund.
Published on November 15, 2017