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Gerald Kaufman Jr.

Photo #8462 | Jerry KaufmanJerry Kaufman lost his three year battle with cancer on March 29 in Brecksville Ohio, near his birthplace of Cleveland. He took a major hand in determining his course of treatment with a dogged determination and attention to detail that was so characteristic of him. Jerry fought the disease with courage and dignity, surviving far longer than anyone expected.  Doctors found him to be the most knowledgeable patient they had ever encountered.

He graduated from The Ohio State University, earning a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering, emphasizing Computer Science.  Jerry moved to Colorado in 1974 to work as a software engineer for Hewlett-Packard. That was his professional career, retiring after more than thirty years with the company.  Colorado was his home his entire adult life.

He was one of the most accomplished glider pilots in the United States. After learning to fly in 1972, Jerry set one world, five national, and sixty-two state soaring records, and accumulated over 4,000 hours of piloting time in gliders.  He earned his 1000 Km Diploma in 2004 after pursuing it for years.  He competed early on in the contest circuit, but later settled on setting records as his primary passion.  He frequently just bumped records by the bare minimum possible, encouraging others to do the same so that records could be broken the maximum number of times.  Perhaps to the chagrin of some state record keepers.


Jerry always went one step further than needed.  When GPS technology became prevalent, he built an elaborate folding holder for his unit, so that he could verify rounding turnpoints properly, but keeping it out of sight other times.  He considered it to be an unfair navigation advantage, and didn't want to avail himself of that.  Similarly, he refused to observe for a Silver distance flight unless the pilot landed out.  He thought the remote start option, so clearly allowed in the rules, just wasn't the proper way to do it.

He had other interests also, being a dedicated marksman who reloaded his ammunition with an attention to detail only he was capable of.  He wrote poetry, and was an accomplished story teller.  He was a perfectionist, as few people in this world can ever dream of being.

Jerry is survived by parents, Gerald J. Kaufman, Sr. and Elizabeth, brother Michael and sister Deborah, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Jerry’s ashes will be returned to Colorado and scattered in the mountains he so dearly loved to fly.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Step 13, 2029 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 or The Independent Institute, 100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621.

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Posted: 4/12/2012


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