Ronald (Laddie) Lynn Kauffman, 82, Etna Green, ran into the arms of Jesus surrounded by his loving family on May 28, 2021.
After years of suffering, we are so grateful that his body is now made whole.
On Nov. 15, 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Sara Lea Blackford, and lived joyfully in love with her all the days of his life. Together they built a beautiful life, including nine children: Kyle (Tanya) Warsaw, Roger (Ruth) Bourbon, Jeff (Carol) Addison, Vermont, Todd (Teresa) Rochester, Janeen (Shawn) Rafferty, Brantford, Ontario, Matthew, Seattle, Wash., Sara (Shawn) Morrow Plymouth,;Nathan (Sarah) Tippecanoe, and Ellen (Tod) Stillson Plymouth.
Their marriage was a true picture of unconditional love and commitment. Dad would put a special love letter beside Mom’s chair almost every morning, just to show his love and affection. After 63 years of marriage, the comment was made that “a lifetime would still not be long enough.”
Ron was born Sept. 24, 1938, to parents Donald Camp and Beulah Marie Gordon Kauffman in Osceola. He grew up as the youngest of four children, with three older sisters: Lillie Jean Cox, Plymouth, Eula Lee Geyer, Elkhart, and Donna Marie Swoverland, Weldon, Ill.
From a young age, he learned to be a hard worker, taking on the responsibility of many chores and tasks on the family farm. As a young teenager, he was given the task of driving a semi-truck full of chickens to Chicago. He was a relatively new driver, and as he was stopping at red lights, people would hop on the back of the truck and steal the chickens. He did not know what to do, so he just kept driving. When he arrived at his destination, he was missing the whole top layer of chickens. Thankfully, his boss was compassionate.
He continued to develop new skills and could fix just about anything: plumbing, HVAC, electrical and even cars. He was a jack-of-all-trades and was willing to help anyone fix anything. He worked several jobs over the years to support his large family and ultimately retired from Monaco Coach Corporation in 2003 after being employed there 27 years.
Ron realized his need for a Savior at age 12 during a Billy Graham Crusade and it changed the trajectory of his life. Over the years, he served as a Boys Brigade leader, Sunday School Superintendent, Song Leader and deacon at Tippecanoe Community Church. He enjoyed singing hymns and was often heard singing songs around the house that he made up out of the blue. Most Saturday mornings you could find him out doing church visitation or helping those in need.
He lived his life as a servant of Christ and modeled a genuine faith to his children and grandchildren.
They coveted his prayers and knew that he would be sitting in his chair at 4 a.m. every morning, praying for each of them and reading his Bible.
He served his country, as a member of the National Army Guard, before being honorably discharged on May 22, 1960.
When he had spare time, which was a rare event, he enjoyed scrapping at the junkyard, going to tractor shows, and collecting coins, hats and die-cast cars. As his body wore down and he became less mobile, he enjoyed coloring and mind puzzles.
While Ron will be remembered for many different things, his family will always remember the way he suffered well. His faith sustained him, and it is what he drew his strength from. He was not one to complain, no matter how intense the pain was. His concern was always for others instead of himself. Several times he was overheard saying that he hoped the way he suffered would point others to Christ. Just as dad has always been there for each of us, we have been honored as a family to be alongside Dad these past few months as he made his journey to his perfect healing.
Ronald was preceded in death by his parents and sister Donna, along with one child due to miscarriage.
He is survived by his wife, Sara, nine children and spouses, 69 grandchildren and spouses, and 45 great-grandchildren, as well as two sisters.
His wife and family would like to send a special thank you to Dad’s caring doctor Dr. Craig Miller, Plymouth Family and Internal Medicine, Dr. Christopher Annis, Elkhart Pain Clinic and Kindred Hospice, Rochester, for the loving treatment they provided for their loved one.
Earl-Grossman Funeral home will be assisting the family. A visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at the Tippecanoe Community Church, 2920 Main St. Tippecanoe, IN 46570 with a celebration of his life to be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 2, 2021, with Rev. George Shoemaker. Burial will follow at the Tippecanoe Cemetery.