Estelle F. Kaufman, 89, passed away peacefully at home onWednesday, November 3, 2021 after a remarkable 16-year battle with Alzheimer’s. She was born in Cleveland, OH to Max and Clara Friedman, both of whom immigrated from Eastern Europe to the U.S. in the 1920’s. Estelle’s childhood was blessed with wonderful loving parents. She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and then entered The Ohio State University in the fall of 1950, where she would soon meet the love of her life and beloved husband Donald (1931-2021), who passed away in June of this year. They were married for almost 67 years. After graduating with her husband in 1955 with an education degree, she moved to Plattsburgh, NY before settling in Akron OH for the rest of her life as a loving, devoted, and caring wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend.
Estelle had an illustrious volunteer career over 50 years at Akron Children’s Hospital, which included being President of the Woman’s Board in 1989. In honor of her years of dedicated service, her husband honored her by establishing the Estelle Kaufman Sick Child Care Center at the hospital in 2002. She would also join her husband Donald, her children and grandchildren in creating the famous “Ribs for Kids” charity events beginning in 1986.
She was an avid skier, tennis player, mahjong player and jazzercize enthusiast even in her 80’s. After a number of years enjoying their vacation home in the Vail Valley, she would later spend her winter months in retirement with her husband for 17 incredible years in Rancho Mirage, CA. Estelle’s warmth and infectious laugh lit up every room and she never said no to chocolate and ice cream.
She is survived by her children, Craig (Amy) Kaufman, Susan (Greg) McMains, Carrie (Brad) Martin; Bamma to her seven grandchildren, Jason (Jess) McMains, Rachel Kaufman, Alex Lefkowitz, Max Lefkowitz, Brian (Nicole) McMains, Abby (Molly) Kaufman, Zach (Allie) McMains; to step grandson, Ben Martin; to five great-grandchildren, Addie and Benjamin McMains, Mitchell and Lena McMains, Ella Smemo; and her cherished nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother Harold Friedman. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Brenda, Eileen, Lisa and the many other caregivers from Visiting Angels who provided many years of kindness and support that help extend her life.
Funeral services will be held at Temple Israel, 91 Springside Dr, Akron, OH 44333, at 11 AM on Friday, November 5, 2021. Interment to follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family will observe the Memorial at the home of the Kaufman residence following graveside services on Friday until 4:00 PM and from 6:30-8:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Please contact Gordon-Flury Memorial Home in Akron for details on viewing the memorial service online.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer Association or to your favorite charity.
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