Campus Notices

Mar 10 2023

Emeritus Professor David Kaufman - Obituary

We are sad to announce that Emeritus Professor of Sociology, David Kaufman, passed away in early February. David taught at CWU from 1971 to 2003. His family wanted to share his obituary with the campus community, which is included below. If you are in need of additional support due to this loss, please reach out to our EAP here.

David was born Oct 1941 in Quincy, Illinois. Enjoyed boating, swimming, biking as a youth and adult.

Earned his BA and Masters degrees at Northwestern University. Married Sherry in June 1966, wife of 56 years. 1969 Westwood, California UCLA award his PhD. That autumn he began Asst. Professorship of Sociology at New York University moving family to New York, NY. He moved to Ellensburg, WA in 1970 after accepting a position at Central Washington University.

He was awarded a Fullbright for studying and traveling to central Europe, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and later attained professorship and Chair of Sociology Department at CWU, creating a department computer center for students.

Wanting his children to learn their ABCs, they moved to the University Historic District so they could attend the Hebler Campus Elementary School. The family resided in the district for 50 years until his death at the age of 81.

David loved to dance and enjoyed membership in Rigadoon Dance Club. He was a member of the Cross Country Ski Club and volunteered in the Fine Arts building at the Kittitas County Fair.

He served many terms for the City of Ellensburg Planning Commission and the Ellensburg Public Library Board. For many years he chaired the Board of Kittitas County Action Council, helping with the creation of programs with Staff (winterization and acquiring needed buses through grants).

As president of Kiwanis Club he flipped many pancakes at the annual Rodeo Parade Breakfast. After retiring as Emeritus Professor he returned for a term as Interim Dean of CWU Libraries which included many innovative teams of talented staff specialists bringing new technology throughout the campus, videographers and visuals for CWU, ReferenceDepartment gathered historical documents which became part of new Archival building on campus.

He retired and became member of CWU Retirement Association which he chaired for two terms. With the help of networking he planned speaking events, field trips and annual dinners.

As a member of Rodeo City Amateur Radio club he earned his license (call N7ENP) and helped at many Kittitas County and Ellensburg City parades and K-runs. He was a member of CASA (Court Advocates for Children) and helped in Boy Scout events with his family, fundraising, recycling newspapers, and traveling to Seattle and attending activities with Club Native American Indian Princesses of Ellensburg. David was a contributing member of many museum and cultural venues: Seattle Opera, SAM, MOHAI, Wing Luke Museum, Audubon Society, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Arboretum Conservatory Volunteer Park, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Museum of Glass, Nordic Heritage Museum, Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame, Ellensburg History Museum, Clymer Museum, and Gallery One.

Surviving family: wife of 56 years Sherry; son Jason Kaufman/Susan Vise and granddaughter Elizabeth of Napa, Ca; daughter Jessica Kaufman/Jeremey Randle and grandson Benny of Snohomish, Wa; brother in law Scott Hirschfeld/Linda of Mo; and cousin Rose Julia/Dr. Gary Kulak of Fla.

The family wishes to thank KVH nurses Catherine Patenode and Chad Bearup, Heart-N Hand, Hospice, KVH PT&OT Home and Office Care, Ellensburg Fire Department, and heartfelt thanks to many neighbors, friends and colleagues. There is a big hole in our hearts. We will miss you, Buddy.