Major General Michael Bernard Kauffman (Retired) died in his sleep Saturday, May 7, 1994, at Ft. Richardson, Alaska. He and his wife had gone there to attend a graduation of their granddaughter from the University of Alaska on May 8.
General Kauffman was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, on August 4, 1913. He was brought to this country as a small boy. He graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1938, at which time he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He served with the 38th Infantry at Ft. Douglas from 1938-39. In June 1940 he received his Masters Degree in Retailing from the University of Pittsburgh. He was hired as an executive trainee by Sears and sent to Salt Lake City.In September 1940 he was ordered to active duty and sent to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, to be in the cadre forming the 9th Infantry Division. With World War II came a variety of assignments for this young infantry officer. He was the transport quartermaster for the loading and unloading of eight ships involved in the invasion of Africa, and served as the taskforce G4 (Supply). Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to command the 2nd Battalion, 68th Infantry, and in that position participated in four campaigns: Tunisia, Sicily, Invasion of France, and Northern France. Following his second wound in action, Lt. Col. Kauffman was rotated to the States and after his recovery was assigned to Ft. Benning, where he completed his active duty as an instructor in tactics at the U.S. Infantry School. Beginning an illustrious Army Reserve career in 1947, Col. Kauffman joined the 96th Infantry Division at Ft. Douglas, being assigned first as commanding officer of the 383rd Infantry Regiment and later as Division Artillery commander. Other significant assignments followed through the years, culminating in his appointment as commanding general, 96th Infantry Division, and his promotion to major general in 1962.
After relocating to Seattle, Washington, in 1967, Major General Kauffman became commanding general of the 124th US Army Reserve Command. In that capacity he was appointed to a team of general officers sent to Vietnam to review Reserve units assigned to duty there. The following year, 1970, he was given a mobilization designee assignment as deputy commanding general, Office of Reserve Components, the Pentagon. His retirement in July 1973 capped thirty-five years of active and reserve service.
Major General Kauffman's military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge.
Michael Kauffman's civilian and public service career was equally distinguished. His many years of executive experience with Sears Roebuck and Company in Salt Lake City and Seattle won public recognition and appointment to such civic responsibilities as chairman of the Utah USO, president of the Salt Lake Lions Club, director of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, director of the American Korean Foundation, director of the Pine Canyon Boys Ranch, and president of the Salt Lake Gyro Club. Major General Kauffman's other community service was as a member of the National Committee for Employer's Support of the Guard and Reserve, member of the Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee, president of the Ft. Douglas Historical Preservation Association, and as founder and president of the Ft. Douglas Military Museum Association. Civilian honors bestowed upon him include the Meritorious Service Award, National Guard Bureau; Distinguished Service Citation, Defense Civil Preparedness Agency; Award of Merit, Reserve Officers Association; Minute Man Award, Utah National Guard; Strength in Reserve Award, 96th US Army Reserve Command; and Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Department of Army.
On February 28, 1942, then-Capt. Kauffman and Margaret R. Shallenberger were married in the Bethel Methodist Church in Charleston, SC.
His survivors include his wife, better known as Peggy; daughters, Katherine K. Kocourek and her husband Mark, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Micheline K. Hall and her husband Dennis, of Anchorage, Alaska; and a son, Jeffrey Michael Kauffman and his wife, Betsy, of Portland, Oregon. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Tracy Michelle O'Reilly, of Anchorage; Andrew Dennis Michael Hall, of Salt Lake City; Ariel Kauffman Kocourek and Kallie Rebecca Kocourek, of Raleigh; and a brother, J. Patrick Kauffman, of New York, NY.
The family will meet friends at the Holbrook Funeral Chapel, 3251 So. 2300 East, Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. A celebration of General Kauffman's life will be held at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at Christ United Methodist Church, 2375 East 3300 So. Full military rites will follow the service at the Ft. Douglas Cemetery.
It was General Kauffman's request that flowers be omitted and donations in his name be sent to the Wesley Bell Ringers at Christ United Methodist Church, or the Salt Lake Shriners Crippled Childrens' Hospital, Fairfax Avenue at Virginia Street, 84103.
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