John Melvin ‘Jack’ Kauffman | News, Sports, Jobs


John Melvin “Jack” Kauffman

John “Jack” Melvin Kauffman, 91, of Vero Beach, Fla., formerly of Altoona, died June 15, 2022 at Indian River Estates. He was born in Altoona, the son of Melvin Lentz Kauffman and Helen Elizabeth Geist.

He graduated in 1948 from Altoona High School and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. From there, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocational education.

Jack worked for the Altoona Mirror from 1949 to 1967. In 1967 he began his teaching career teaching graphic arts to high school students at Lawrence County Area Vo-Tech School in New Castle. In 1972, he was promoted to school supervisor. In 1974, Jack was hired by Mercer County to oversee the new Vo-Tech school at George Junior Republic School in Grove City. He then served as Grove City’s Federal Programs Administrator and later as Professional Director of the Carbon County Administrator. In 1981, he became administrative director of the SUN Region Technical Institute in New Berlin. He met regularly with area superintendents, district directors, guidance counselors, teachers, and parents throughout his tenure, and retired from the school in 1992.

Jack was a 32nd Degree Mason and a 60-year-old member of Logan Lodge No. 490 Free and Accepted Masons, Altoona.

It was in 1950 that he became a father and married Mary Jane Edwards. The couple will expand their family tree with four children, 13 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren and one on the way. In December 2021, Jack and Mary Jane celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

Leaving the cold Pennsylvania winters behind, Jack and Mary Jane moved to Florida in 1995. They settled in Indian River Estates, Vero Beach, Florida in 2015.

Jack is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary Jane (Edwards) Kauffman; children: Linda (Richard) Votapka of Vero Beach, Florida; Dr. John (Dr. Sharon) Kauffman of Coraopolis; Patricia (Raymond) Finkbinder of Moorestown, NJ; and Nancy (Michael) Harnum of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren: Kenneth (Shawn) Votapka, Kevin (Amelia) Votapka, Keith (Sierra) Votapka, Kathryn (Manny Vargas) Votapka, Marissa Kauffman, Megan (James) Welborn, Michelle Kauffman, Melinda (David) Salchert, Emily and Corinne Finkbinder, Jordan (Nalisa) Harnum, Erin, and Adrienne Harnum; great-grandchildren: Ella, Scotty, Riley, Caroline, Freida and James Votapka; brother, Tom Warren Kauffman (Lorraine) of Albuquerque, NM; and his nephew, Jeffrey Kauffman.

Arrangements are made by Millennium Cremation Service of Vero Beach, Florida.

Friends who wish to share their condolences with Jack’s family can do so at


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