He was born Jan. 15, 1940 in Brush, Colo., the son of Jacob and Margaret (Ashenburner) Kauffman. He graduated from Brush High School and served during the Vietnam War from 1963 until 1965. Jake married Elva Robbins on Aug. 24, 1965 in Powell.
Jake worked on the family farm and later worked as a driller for RL Manning, Brinkerhoff Drilling and True Drilling. He then started his own consulting company from 1980 until 1995 in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and North Dakota. He retired after his health started to decline.
He loved restoring old one-cylinder engines and his 1941 John Deere tractor that he won several trophies for. Jake drove it in the 4th of July parades and at the Sturgis thrashing bee. At the age of 16, he purchased a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle which he still owned and drove. Jake had several interests, looking for arrowheads, camping, fishing, hunting, driving the back roads always looking for a short cut no matter how long it took him, antique auctions and his pugs. He also loved to travel, visiting 27 states and Canada. Jake’s most important passion was to spend time with his family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Elva Kauffman of Gillette; son, Jason Kauffman of Gillette; daughters, Leahmae (Brion) Haynes of Manning, S.C., Amber Markley of Powell and Althea Haynes of Gillette; brothers, Ralph (Helen) Kauffman of Brush, Colo., and Edward (Phyllis) Kauffman of Cedar Ridge, Colo.; sister, Virginia (Dave) Miller of Surprise, Ariz.; 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Tanna Reed; sister, Verda Mae, brothers, Harold and Albert Kauffman; and grandson, Michael Bain Kelley.
Memorials are suggested to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Burial was in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.