Lorraine Jeanette Johnson Kaufman
March 27, 1930 – Jan. 30, 2020
MOUNDRIDGE — Lorraine Jeanette Johnson Kaufman died Jan. 30, 2020, at Pine Village, Moundridge. She was 89.
She was born March 27, 1930, in Osage City. Lorraine attended a one-room rural school, then high school in Osage City. She graduated from nurses’ training in 1951 from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City.
At KUMC, she met Willard E. Kaufman, a medical student. They married June 14, 1953. He preceded her in death on Nov. 9, 2002.
After completion of Willard’s medical internship, Lorraine and Willard served two years, 1954 to 1956, with the Mennonite Central Committee providing medical relief work for Palestinians in refugee camps in the West Bank. In 1957, they moved to Moundridge.
Lorraine’s interests were broad. She was absorbed by her Swedish ancestry and tracked her genealogy to the mid-15thcentury. She loved native prairie wildflowers and was a member of the Kansas Wildflower Society, now the Kansas Native Plant Society, eventually receiving its Sheldon H. Cohen Award for outstanding service. She wrote a “Wildflower Watch” column for the Moundridge Ledger in the 1990s, and a “Featured Plant” column in the Kansas Native Plant Society’s newsletter from 2009 to 2017.
Other writing projects included a food column for The National Observer in the 1970s about unusual recipes and their backgrounds and hundreds of poems. She was a member of Creative Writers of Newton, Kansas Authors’ Club and other regional poetry groups. She won many awards in annual poetry contests. She was also a 50 year member of the Moundridge Study Club.
She was a long time member of the Moundridge Historical Association and involved in the creation of the Cole House Museum at the Moundridge Museum complex. She was a Kauffman Museum board member at Bethel College. She and Willard were dedicated to West Zion Mennonite Church, Bethel College and Pine Village, where their financial support made possible the Willard E. and Lorraine J. Kaufman Special Care Facility.
Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph E. and Olga Moody Johnson, and a brother Burton.
She is survived by three children, Stan Kaufman and wife, Julia, Seattle, Dennis Kaufman and wife, Rebecca, Mount Pleasant, Wisc., and Sharon Reber and husband, Bryan, Athens, Ga.; two grandchildren, Chelsea Kaufman and Bria Kaufman, both of Chicago; Burton’s wife, Karen Johnson; and a niece and nephew.
Services will be 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 at First Mennonite Church of Christian, 719 S. Christian Ave., Moundridge. She will be interred 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Union Cemetery, Osage City, near her family farm. Family visitation will be 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2 at Moundridge Funeral Home, 115 E. Cole St., Moundridge.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kansas Native Plant Society or Pine Village and sent in care of Moundridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 410, Moundridge, KS 67107.