Kathleen Kauffman passed away Dec. 11, 2017, at her home in Homewood, Ala., The cause was multiple myeloma. Along with the sorrow of their loss, her family feels deep gratitude for Kathleen’s wonderful, well-lived life and celebrates it with the same joy she created and shared with all who knew her. They draw strength from knowing that she has been united with her Savior, Jesus Christ. Kathleen will be missed greatly, but the virtues and values she lived by will be carried on in the many people she touched and influenced.
Kathleen faced her illness with grace, humility, dignity, courage and kindness, the same traits that characterized all aspects of her life. Her selfless nature and her love of family and friends remained constant. Involvement with her church, Highlands United Methodist, deepened; she particularly enjoyed her participation in the church’s outreach program that provides assistance to the homeless. In May 2017, Kathleen participated in the Grand Canyon Trek, sponsored by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, proudly sending to friends a video showing her crossing the finish line.
Born on May 7, 1962, in McPherson, Kansas, Kathleen Dawn Kauffman grew up in West Liberty. She graduated from Bluffton College, where she excelled academically and used her talent and love for music as an accompanist for college choirs and as a member of a women’s quartet. She earned a law degree at Georgetown School of Law and began her legal career in Washington, D.C., in the health care section of a national law firm, Fulbright and Jaworski.
In 1995, Kathleen accepted a position in the Office of Counsel at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she was the primary legal counsel for health law issues and UAB Medical Center initiatives until she retired because of illness in 2015. The consummate professional woman, Kathleen, embraced the challenges of a complicated field of law with energy, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to work tirelessly until the matter at hand was completed. Kathleen’s self-confidence and expertise were assuring to her clients; her upbeat attitude and brilliant, ready smile endeared her to them. Her work ethic was an inspiration to her colleagues. She was proud of her career at UAB and cherished the friendships she developed there.
Kathleen often talked about her love for her home and family in Ohio, and she enjoyed her years in Washington, but she loved her life in Birmingham, especially after she married, joining an even larger, loving family. Kathleen contributed to her community in many ways and particularly enjoyed serving on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham. Kathleen was chosen to participate in Momentum, a mentorship program for women with leadership abilities; in 2011 she was named a Woman of the Year by the Women’s Exchange of Birmingham.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, the love of her life and best friend, Clarence Crump; her parents, Warren and Elma Kauffman of West Liberty; her brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Tina Kauffman and her niece and nephew, Rebekah and Drew Kauffman, all of Hilliard; her stepchildren, Michael (Jenny), Patrick (Megan) and Amy (Chris); and six stepgrandchildren, Dayton, Collin, Brooklyn, Ella, Reese and Jackson; in-laws Jim and Rebecca Griffith and Rodney Crump, brother of Clarence Crump.
Services were today in Highland United Methodist Church, Highland Methodist Church, 1045 20th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205, where memorial gifts be sent to benefit its community ministries.