ROUSES POINT — Hector A. Kaufman peacefully left this life on Dec. 23, 2012, surrounded by his devoted and loving family and friends. He was 97 years old.
Hector was born on Nov. 12, 1915, to Hector A. Kaufman Sr. and Gladys (Stevenson) Kaufman. Hector graduated from Champlain High School in 1932, from Green Mountain College in 1936, and Boston University in 1938. He returned home to Perry's Mills to help his father with the family business. Upon the death of his father he became owner and operator of Kaufman Lumber until 1976, before working for the New York State Power Authority and as a private contractor in real estate negotiation until his retirement 1990.
Hector enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corp and began active duty in Jan. of 1943; he was a Second Lieutenant and a Navigator on a B-17 during World War II with the 379th Bomb Group. On August 9, 1944, when returning from his 20th mission, his plane was shot down over German occupied Belgium. He was hidden for ten weeks by the resourceful and resilient Belgium underground, the "Army Blanc", until meeting an American Army Calvary Troop marching toward Germany. Soon after Hector's mother received a telegram from Paris stating, "Alive and Well. Love, Hector". 50 years later he was able to return to Belgium to thank the heroic Albert Woulter's Family. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Air Medal with Two Clusters.
Hector was an active 66 year member and past Commander of American Legion Post #767. He was also Past Commander of Clinton County American Legion, and member of La Societe des 40 et 8 Cheveaux. He was a Life member of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 1418. Hector was a Past Master F.&A.M. of Champlain Lodge #237, which consolidated into the Fraternal Lodge #155. Hector received the Mason's 60 Years of Service Award in 2001. Hector was a member of the BPOE 621 and a Past President of the Lions Club. He was a past president of the Champlain - Rouses Point Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the JCEO Board of Directors. He was a member, past lay leader, and trustee of Three Steeple Methodist Church.
Hector was Justice of the Peace for 14 years and Supervisor of the Town of Champlain for 6 years. He was also a Trustee for the Village of Rouses Point. He served on the Executive Committee of the Association of Towns of New York State.
He was predeceased by his loving wife of 49 years, Mary Kathryn (Katie) Gillespie who he married on Oct. 16, 1945, in Decatur, Ala. He was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, and three sisters, Kenneth Kaufman and his wife Doris (Webb) Kaufman; Edith (Kaufman) Knapp and her husband, Kenneth Knapp; Ruth (Kaufman) Trahan and her husband, Leo Trahan; Lois (Kaufman) Todd and her husband, Jim Todd; and his youngest sibling, Maurice Kaufman.
He is survived by his three children, Hector Alan Kaufman III, James Gillespie Kaufman and Audrey (Blank) Kaufman, and Carole (Kaufman) Holmes and Jim Holmes. He is survived by three grandchildren, James Patrick Holmes, Sean Alan Holmes, and James Rhees Kaufman. He is also survived by many extended family members.
Above all of his many accomplishments and services, he was most dedicated to loving and helping his family. He was deeply loved and admired by his children, grandsons, friends, and community.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor and memory can be made to Three Steeple Methodist Church.
A celebration of Hector's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, at Three Steeples Methodist Church in Champlain, N.Y. Those wishing to offer condolences to the family may call at the church beginning at 9:30 a.m. Masonic members are asked to arrive at the church at 10:30 a.m. Interment with full military honors will follow the service at Glenwood Cemetery.
To share online condolences, please visit www.rossfuneralhomes.com Arrangements are in the care of the Ross Funeral Home, 2586 Route 11 Mooers.