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



John Melvin ‘Jack’ Kauffman

John “Jack” Melvin Kauffman, 91, of Vero Beach, Fla., formerly of Altoona, passed away 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 graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Vocational Education.

Jack worked for the Altoona Mirror from 1949-67. In 1967, he began his career in education teaching secondary students Graphic Arts at Lawrence County Area Vo-Tech School in New Castle. In 1972, he was promoted to supervisor of the school. In 1974, Jack was hired by Mercer County to oversee the new Vo-Tech School for George Junior Republic School in Grove City. He went on to serve as the Federal Programs Administrator of Grove City and later as the Administrator Vocational Director of Carbon County. In 1981, he became the Administrative Director for the SUN Area Technical Institute in New Berlin. He met regularly with the area’s superintendents, district principals, 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 member of Logan Lodge No. 490 Free and Accepted Masons, Altoona.

It was in 1950 that he became a family man and married Mary Jane Edwards. The couple would grow 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 them, Jack and Mary Jane moved to Florida in 1995. They settled in Indian River Estates, Vero Beach, Fla., in 2015.

Jack is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary Jane (Edwards) Kauffman; children: Linda (Richard) Votapka of Vero Beach, Fla.; Dr. John (Dr. Sharon) Kauffman of Coraopolis; Patricia (Raymond) Finkbinder of Moorestown, N.J.; and Nancy (Michael) Harnum of Denver, Colo.; 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, N.M.; and nephew, Jeffrey Kauffman.

Arrangements are by Millennium Cremation Service of Vero Beach, Fla.

Friends that would like to share condolences with Jack’s family may do so at


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