The Rev. Dr. Robert F.
Kaufmann died on December 21, 2010 of bone cancer. Dr. Kaufmann was 89
Dr. Kaufmann was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1921, to Melvin and Vera Kaufmann. In 1970, at
the age of 48, he received his M.Div. from Starr King
School. He earned a Ph.D.
in Psychology from United
University in 1975.
He was called to the Emerson Unitarian Church in Canoga Park, CA, serving from 1969 to 1973, and was ordained there in 1970. In 1973,
he was called to the Throop UU Church in Pasadena, CA,
serving until 1985.
Dr. Kaufmann then began a series of interim ministries
that spanned many years. He served at the following churches: Unitarian Church
of Auckland, New Zealand; the Unitarian Church of South Australia, Adelaide,
Australia; Fourth Universalist Society, New York, NY; UU Congregation of
Columbia, MD; UU Church of Long Beach, CA; UU Church of Studio City, CA; East
Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, WA; First Unitarian Church, Berkeley, CA; UU
Fellowship of Boca Raton, FL; First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, MN; New
York Society for Ethical Culture; First UU Congregation of the Palm Beaches, FL;
and UUs of San Mateo, CA. Many of these interim ministries resulted in
substantial increases in attendance, membership, and pledging. The Long Beach congregation
named him Minister Emeritus in 1991 in recognition of his accomplishments as
Dr. Kaufmann served the denomination as President and
Good Officer of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the UU Ministers Association.
He also served on the Advisory Council for Accredited Interim Ministers.
"Bob Kaufmann’s Mad World,” a satirical news column published in UU World among other papers,
was named the nation’s best in the Variety of Topics category by the National
Newspaper Association in 1968.
Active at the local and national level in numerous
organizations, Dr. Kaufmann chaired the Board of the Southern California Urban
Coalition and was president of the Pasadena Chapter of ACLU. He was a member of
the Board of Directors of Pasadena NAACP; the National Committee on Prevention
& Control of Delinquency, I. A. C. P; and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He
received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the National Urban
Coalition. Most recently, Dr. Kaufmann presided over The Ethical Community
Charter School Foundation, an organization which opened two charter schools in
Prior to studying for the ministry, Dr. Kaufmann worked
in a variety of professions - business, finance,
journalism, television, public relations, and construction. He wrote for the
Alan Young Show and recorded a comedy album for Decca Records, "A Trip Through A
Blown Mind.” His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and recently he
self-published "I Love You, I Think, Or I Would If I Knew
What It Meant: 27 Chapters of Wit & Wisdom on Life, Laughter, and Love.”
Dr. Kaufmann is survived by his wife Arlene; his
daughter, Susan Kaufmann of Bellevue, WA; his son, Richard Kaufmann, and
daughter-in-law, Pamela Kaufmann of San Diego, CA; a grandson, Robert Kendrick,
and granddaughter, Dana Kendrick, both of Bellevue,
A celebration of the life of Dr. Robert Kaufmann will be
held on Sunday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m. at East Shore
Unitarian Church, 12700 Southeast 32nd Street, Bellevue, WA. A reception will follow. In lieu of
flowers, you may donate to The Ethical Culture Charter School Foundation (TECCS)
by sending a check to: Dr. Judith D. Wallach, Vice President, 101 Central Park
West, 1A, New York, NY 10023-4250.
Please send messages of condolence to Arlene Kaufmann,
401 – 100th Ave. NE
#326, Bellevue, WA 98004.