Joseph Kaufman
Joseph Kaufman
  • August 8, 1928 - February 20, 2017
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas

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120 Wrights Lane
Hot Springs, AR 71913
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Joseph Allen Kaufman, of Hot Springs passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 20, 2017 at age 88.

Joe was a man of tremendous character and integrity, with his family always being his greatest pride and joy. He was a devoted husband, father, brother, and an accomplished business man, civic leader, traveler, and avid outdoorsman. Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 8, 1928 to Ben T. and Effie Lee Kaufman, Joe and his identical twin brother, Ben, spent their childhood in Hot Springs. Joe graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in electrical engineering, where he was also an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

He was a U. S. Army veteran and served his country in Korea. Joe was a lifelong supporter of the armed services and a passionate advocate for the hard-won freedoms of our country. After a stellar career with Westinghouse, he and his twin brother came back to Hot Springs in 1963 to build Kaufman Electric, Inc. into a successful electrical engineering and contracting company which served the southeast for over 70 years.

Throughout his life, Joe was active in the Hot Springs community. He was the leader of virtually every civic organization in the greater Hot Springs area, including: President of the Hot Springs School District, President of the Hot Springs Children’s Home, Vice-President of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board and member of the Board of Trustees of the First United Methodist Church, Advisory Board of the First Federal Savings and Loan, Chairman of the Waterworks Commission, Treasurer of the Garland County Industrial Development Commission, University of Arkansas Alumni Board Member, United Way Board of Hot Springs, Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas, President of the Hot Springs Kiwanis Club, and prior member of the Rotary Club of Hot Springs.

He loved life and was beloved by people of all walks of life. He was known for his authentic, egoless demeanor, his jovial personality, and his love of the big band era and dancing with the love of his life and wife of 63 years, Gretta D. Kaufman.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by ‘his girls’: his wife and soulmate, Gretta Dameron Kaufman and his daughters: Gretchen Lee Kaufman and Kristin Stewart Kaufman, who reside in Dallas, Texas. He is also survived by his identical twin brother, Ben L. Kaufman, nephew Ben L. Kaufman, and niece, Karen Kaufman Wacaster. The family wishes to thank all their friends, physicians, and caregivers for their care and support over the past two weeks.

Services will be held Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 11am at First United Methodist Church. The family will celebrate his life with a reception immediately following the service in Cupp Hall. As a devoted man of faith and active member of First United Methodist Church, 1100 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901; those desiring to do so may make contributions to the church in his memory.