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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Gladys Mullet Kauffman

Gladys Mullet Kauffman went to be with her Lord on January 9, 2018, surrounded by her children.  

She was born in eastern Montana on August 6, 1922, the sixth of nine children.  As a youth, she learned the value of community, hard work and contribution. She always saw what needed to be done and did it.

Growing up on the farm Mom spent many hours herding cattle with siblings and helping her father. Mom completed her first eight years of school at Morgan Creek and finished high school in Glendive. She excelled as a student and took her studies seriously.

After high school she helped her father on the farm and taught at two rural schools in eastern Montana.  Mom excelled at teaching and entertained her own children with stories of her early teaching days. Mom was an amazing story teller and entertained many with the stories she preserved through the years.

One of the most delightful gifts Mom leaves is the stories she collected through the years. Mom started keeping a journal at age eleven and managed to continue that through most of her life.  

In October of 1949 Mom married Morris Kauffman, and their union resulted in nine children. What they lacked in material wealth, they made up for in their devotion to their children. They raised their family in Glendive and the whole family was actively involved at the White Chapel Mennonite Church. The traditions Mom and Dad established set us on a good foundation for life. We ate meals together, memorizing various passages from the Bible, which we would practice before breakfast.  Mom was a master at making money stretch and regardless of how much money she had, she always put food on the table. There was always enough food for any additional guest that showed up and she opened her home with gracious hospitality. Mom was always there for us, in spite of juggling the task of raising nine children and being involved in church activities.  Her diaries give a vivid picture of the swirl of activity that she managed.  

Mom’s faith was the anchor in her life. Singing was a significant part of that faith and Mom encouraged all her children to sing from an early age. That love of music passes on through the generations. 

In the early 60’s, Mom realized many of the early pioneers who settled Eastern Montana were going to their graves with their stories.  She felt strongly that someone should get those stories recorded, and since there was no other, Mom, in spite of having nine children under the age of thirteen, took on that task. She located and interviewed early settlers, wrote their stories and contributed a column to the Ranger Review, which she continued through 1975. In 2006, son Kent insisted that Mom get the stories into a book. That project resulted in two volumes of stories with the same title as the original column, “As I Remember.”

In 1978 Mom and Dad moved to Bozeman so they could continue their own education. Dad was diagnosed with cancer shortly after they arrived in Bozeman and soon gave up his pursuit, while Mom continued on and graduated in 1981 from MSU with highest honors at age 61. She began her second round of teaching at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman.  She taught for a decade and was part of the evolution of that school.

In 1978 the family endured the loss of the oldest son, Linford, followed by Dad in the spring of 1984. Through all the losses and change, Mom maintained her faith and commitment to serving and supporting others, especially her children and grandchildren.  

Upon her retirement, Mom enjoyed traveling with her son Kent who took her around the world on numerous trips.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Menno and Ora (Chaney) Mullet,; her husband, Morris; her son, Linford; grandson, Taylor; five sisters and one brother.  

She is survived by children, Pam (Joel) Howard, Twila Kauffman, Vaughn Kauffman, Kent Kauffman, Merrill (Sharon) Kauffman, Vance (Mary) Kauffman, Valerie (Craig) Deeney, and Gaylene (Andy) Kerr. She is also survived by her sister, Eunice; and brother, Keith; fourteen grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and friends.

A memorial service is planned for Friday, January 26, 2 p.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Bozeman.  Burial will be at the Red Top Cemetery in Bloomfield on Saturday, January 27 at 3 p.m.

If desired, contributions can be made to The Gideons International. 

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