Gen. Jack D. Kaufman, 86, state Selective Service chief

October 07, 2006|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Jack D. Kaufman, a retired Maryland National Guard brigadier general who had headed the Maryland Military Academy and was former state Selective Service director, died of heart failure Tuesday at Northwest Hospital Center. The longtime Pikesville resident was 86.

General Kaufman, who was born and raised in Baltimore, was the son of Morris Kaufman, who had served with the 110th Field Artillery in Europe during World War I.

He was a 1937 graduate of City College and enlisted in the Maryland National Guard's 110th Field Artillery, 29th Division, in 1940. Called to active duty in 1942, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1942 and was assigned to Fort Sill, Okla., as a gunnery instructor.

He joined the 130th Field Artillery and was sent to Europe, where he saw combat. He had attained the rank of captain when he returned to the U.S. and stepped down from active duty in 1946.

He remained a reservist, and in 1951 he was called to active duty as an adviser to the West Virginia Army National Guard. From 1952 to 1953, he served in Korea with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division, and was also an adviser to the Republic of Korea's 91st Field Artillery Battalion.

During his Korean War service, General Kaufman was decorated with the Bronze Star and earned three battle stars.

From 1955 to 1959, he was assigned to the Maryland National Guard's 224th Field Artillery and later held assignments with the 110th Field Artillery and became training officer with the 29th Division in 1962.

He was later promoted to lieutenant colonel and was appointed commandant of the Maryland Officer Candidate School. In 1971, he was assigned as the first commandant of the newly formed Maryland Military Academy.

He was director of Selective Service for Maryland from 1972 until 1976, when he was appointed director of Region 1 for the Selective Service System, a position he held for two years until becoming operations and training officer for the Selective Service System in Washington.

In 1979, he was placed on the Army's retired list, and he was promoted to brigadier general by the Maryland National Guard in 1994.

He was a member of the Battery A Association, and the 29th Division Association, Post 110. He had been treasurer for 27 years and was a past president of the Association of the United States Army.

"Altogether, General Kaufman proudly served his country for 21 years on active duty and 18 years of service in the Maryland National Guard and reserve," said Jim Gilbert, president of the Francis Scott Key Chapter of the Association of the United States Army. "We have lost a great soldier and patriot."

"He was a colorful and dedicated officer who was an exceptional administrator. He had strong beliefs and wasn't afraid to express them," said Philip Sherman, a Baltimore lawyer and retired Maryland National Guard brigadier general.

"At his funeral, one of his brothers said in the eulogy that he was a general when he was 6 years old because he loved telling people what to do and ordering them around. He really was a good man," Mr. Sherman said.

In retirement, General Kaufman was a docent at what is now the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for 22 years, and he was one of the first volunteers to bring the Zoomobile to local schoolchildren.

He also volunteered with the Pets on Wheels program, taking one of his dogs to area hospitals and nursing homes to visit patients.

General Kaufman also earned a degree in adult education from the University of the District of Columbia and was a graduate of the General Staff College and the Army War College.

He was a member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and its Brotherhood.

General Kaufman collected paperweights.

He was married for 63 years to the former Beatrice Matziover, who died last month.

Services were Thursday.

Surviving is a daughter, Ruthanne Kaufman of Pikesville. A son, Michael B. Kaufman, died in 1983.

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