1937 - 2016

Leo F. Kauffman, 79, of Pekin, peacefully passed away, surrounded by his family, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

He was born March 24, 1937, in Pueblo, Colo., to John and Mary Kauffman. He married Sharon Pluta Oct. 7, 1961, in Berea, Ohio.

Preceding him in death were his parents and four brothers, Fr. Paul, Ernest, Michael and John Kauffman.

Surviving are his wife of 55 years, Sharon; two sons, Michael (Michele) Kauffman of Mapleton and James (Kelly) Kauffman of Bartonville; two daughters, Therese (Paul) Sullivan of Aurora, Colo., and Michele (Dennis) Leonard of Denver, Colo.; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; five sisters, Margaret Joyce, Arlene Wedding, Nancy Nye, Carol Steiner and Mary Steiner.

Leo was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He was the Operations Supervisor of the Aircraft Division at Caterpillar Inc., retiring in 1998 after 32 years.

He was actively involved in his church serving wherever there was a need; Leo was an Eucharistic Minister at Mass and visited homebound and hospitalized parishioners, and was an Adult Funeral Server.

Leo had three other passions in life: horses, airplanes and the arts, which he shared with his children and grandchildren. He was the founder of the local chapter of the American Saddlebred Horse Association. He was a member of the Pekin R/C Club and recently passed his general class license exam for Ham Radio operation.

Leo was a devoted father, grandfather, mentor and friend; never too busy to help someone. He was known for his generous spirit and he was able to repair or build seemingly anything. He had an infectious and genuine sense of humor with stories that will continue for generations to come.

His Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with his nephew, Father Daniel Steiner of the Diocese of Nashville officiating.

A Rosary Service will be led by Deacon Bruce Steiner at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, with a visitation to follow from 5 to 7 p.m. at Henderson Funeral Home in Pekin.

Entombment will be in Resurrection Mausoleum, Peoria, with military honors provided by the United States Air Force and the Tazewell County Ceremonial Team.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Joseph Church Respect Life Ministry, Women’s Care Center of Peoria, St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, or Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

To offer condolences online, visit www.hendersonfuneralcare.com.