Jeanne-Marie Smith Kauffman obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Jeanne-Marie Smith Kauffman

December 19, 1933 - November 24, 2016

Obituary


Jeanne-Marie Smith Kauffman, gracefully danced through Heaven's gate on Thanksgiving morning, November 24, 2016 at the age of 82.

Jeanne-Marie was the 4th born child, 2nd daughter to Julia Karl and Herbert William Smith, on December 19th, 1933 in Mandeville, Louisiana. After her mother died in 1937 and her father in 1945, she was adopted by her father's sister Estelle Smith and her husband Charles Richard Depré. Jeanne-Marie graduated salutatorian from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, Louisiana and attended college at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.

It was on her 1st job after...

Jeanne-Marie Smith Kauffman, gracefully danced through Heaven's gate on Thanksgiving morning, November 24, 2016 at the age of 82.

Jeanne-Marie was the 4th born child, 2nd daughter to Julia Karl and Herbert William Smith, on December 19th, 1933 in Mandeville, Louisiana. After her mother died in 1937 and her father in 1945, she was adopted by her father's sister Estelle Smith and her husband Charles Richard Depré. Jeanne-Marie graduated salutatorian from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, Louisiana and attended college at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.

It was on her 1st job after college, as a receptionist/secretary for Pre-Stressed Concrete company on the original Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge in 1955, that she met her future husband, Paul Ward Kauffman, from Fordyce, Arkansas. They were married on June 30th, 1956 in Mandeville. After completion of the Causeway in August 1956, they moved to Pasadena, Texas - due to Paul's employer, Brown & Root - where their first two children were born: Paul Richard and Tanya Lou. While stationed in Brownsville, their 3rd child was born: Lance David. After a couple of more job moves, they ended up back in Pasadena, where their 4th child was born: John Damon. In June 1964, they moved to Walnut Bend in Houston where she lived until her death.

Jeanne-Marie was the "picture-perfect" stay-at-home mom - devoted to her family. She did volunteer work at Rosewood, M.D. Anderson and LBJ hospitals, volunteered at Taping for the Blind (she recorded 5 William Faulkner novels which are in the Library of Congress), was a 1969 finalist in the Mrs. Houston beauty pageant, sang in the church choir at Southwest UMC, and was involved in her children's school activities. She loved music and played beautifully "by ear" the piano and the Ukulele.

Once all the kids were big enough for her to go back into the workforce, she worked at Dresser Atlas on Westheimer as an executive secretary for 25 years. She and Paul Ward amicably divorced in 1973. Years later she met her companion and "soulmate" William "Bill" Travis Hooker. She went to work for William E. Heitkamp, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee for 20 years until retirement in August 2015.

During these years - beginning in 1988 - she became a grandmother 8 times over, to whom she is affectionately known as "Mamere". She proudly attended the weddings of her first two grandchildren in 2014.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her oldest brother, William"Billy"Adam Smith, her sister Audrey Zucca, companion Bill Hooker; and her nephew, Herbert William Smith.

She is survived by her ex-husband Paul Ward Kauffman, her 4 children and their spouses: Paul Richard Kauffman and wife, Wenche Marie Hamre Kauffman; Tanya Kauffman Erickson and husband, Joseph Robert Erickson III; Lance David Kauffman and wife, Denise Womble Kauffman; John Damon Kauffman and wife, Phyllis Clark Kauffman; by her grandchildren; Dr. Joseph Paul Erickson and wife, Brooke Harvey Erickson; Rachel Marie Erickson Cuellar and husband, Richard James Cuellar; Jonathan Robert Kauffman; Christopher "Clark" Kauffman; Kelsey Danae Kauffman; Kaleb David Kauffman; Paul Michael Kauffman and Karson Daniel Kauffman; her brother Raymond Smith, and sister-in-law Connie Smith, of Baton Rouge Louisiana; her 4 nieces: Johanna, Belinda, Thelma and Julie; and nephew Doug Smith, all residing in Louisiana. Two cousins, Naomi Rosenthal and Toby Rosenthal - both still residing in her hometown of Mandeville.

Jeanne-Marie was lots of things to an unknown number of people. But one thing that they all would agree on is that she was "one of a kind: and a very special kind indeed". She never met a stranger, and she will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to know her.

With her youngest son being a juvenile diabetic, we all share a mission for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. In lieu of flowers, memory donations may be sent to: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 2425 Fountainview Dr. # 280, Houston, TX 77057 713.334.4400 or online at houston.jdrf.org

Visitation services will be held Friday, December 2, 2016 at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home, 12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX with a funeral service to follow on Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 pm.