Howard Robert ‘Bob’ Kaufman Jr.


Howard Robert “Bob” Kaufman Jr., 88, of Seymour, was called home by his Lord and Savior on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. He was surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him.

Born July 28, 1927, he was the son of Howard Robert Kaufman and Ruby Smith Kaufman who were waiting to welcome him home. He was married to Bobbie Jo Coryea Kaufman for 59 years.

Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating high school near the end of World War ll. Stationed in Miami until the end of the war, Bob repaired fighter planes which began his admiration for the mighty Corsair. Following his military service, he returned to Indiana and attended Lane Drafting School in Indianapolis.

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Bob began his career as a union brick mason working alongside his father, Howard, who started Kaufman Masonry in the early 1900s. Bob, his father and crew did the brick and stone work on First Baptist Church on Community Drive in Seymour. Bob took over the business after his father’s retirement and continued to do such quality work through the years that his skills were much sought after by contractors in the surrounding area. Before passing away, Bob had the longest membership of First Baptist Church, joining at the age of nine. He served on almost every board in the church, drove the bus, ushered and was always available to lend a hand with repairs or maintenance. He was very civic-minded also and was elected to Seymour City Council from 1972 to 1976. He was appointed to and served on the Seymour Plan Commission for 17 years. In 1989, Bob was presented with the Seymour Service Award from then Mayor Bill Bailey.

He developed a passion for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the first time his father took him to the track as a youth. In the mid 1970s, he was part of the upstart Jack Rhodes Race Team and was a member of the “over the wall” gang, being the jack man for several years. In later years, he met and became lifelong friends with legendary car builder and mechanic AJ Watson, who had built five Indy 500 winners.

PDM Race Team was the next group he was affiliated with, and he traveled with them all over the country and to Australia twice for the Gold Coast Grand Prix. This past May, Bob joined the elite group of Gold Hat members of the “Old Timers Club” which represents 50 years of service to the speedway.

He worked hard but found time for his family, church and his many hobbies. Besides his passion for IndyCar racing, he loved motorcycles, especially the British-built Triumphs. Over the years, his interests also included guns and hunting, building citizen band radios, bowling, model rocketry, U-line and later on radio-controlled airplanes and in most recent years, he enjoyed his computers and learned how to attract and raise monarch butterflies. He watched many monarchs begin their long migration south. He traveled many places throughout the United States, but his favorite destination was Destin, Florida. He also enjoyed visiting Kennedy Space Center and during the “Space Race” attended several Apollo and space shuttle launches.

Meticulous in his work, strong in his faith and beliefs, he leaves behind his wife, family and friends, who love him, will miss him and will cherish his memory always.

Besides his wife, survivors include his children, Lisa Jo (Bill) Bryant, Howard Robert “Rob” (Melissa) Kaufman III and Patti Sue Kaufman; his grandchildren, Brandy (John) White, Robert (Brandy) Stroh, Cory (Hayley) Byers and Howard Robert “Bobby” Kaufman IV; two sisters-in-law, Dottie Hiten Coryea and Billie Jo Coryea Jackson; a brother-in-law, Steve Jackson; a nephew, Nathan (Aileen) Jackson; a niece, Amy Jo (Jan) Lambrecht; a great-niece, Shelby Jo Lambrecht; and great-nephews, Cooper Jackson Lambrecht and Harrison Edward Jackson.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Jack Coryea.

The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church with the Rev. Larry Tingle officiating. Burial will be at Riverview Cemetery with full military graveside rites provided by the honor guard of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925 and American Legion Post 89, both of Seymour.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Voss Chapel in Seymour and from 9 a.m. until time of service Wednesday at the church.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society.