Obituary of Scott Kaufman
A "Million Dollar Man," Scott lost his intrepid battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in Longmont, CO on October 6, 2023. He was at home, comfortable, and encircled by the intense love of family and friends.
Scott truly was a "Million Dollar Man." He was a liver transplant recipient, a kidney transplant recipient, had two hip replacements and multiple hip surgeries, survived a staph infection and sepsis, and during the pandemic had extensive skin/tissue grafts to heal skin cancer. A friend once remarked that Scott was "infinitely indestructible," a description which gave Scott strength. Scott's mantra was that he was "playing 4 keeps." Despite his never-ending optimism and positivity, he was no match for the cruelty of IPF, which he fought for over 7 years.
Scott was born in Boulder, CO to Thomas and Rosemary Kaufman. He grew up in Fort Collins, CO, graduating from Fort Collins High School in 1986. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music (a BAM! degree that was offered for a fleeting amount of time, so he is one of very few with that particular degree.) He attended law school in San Diego, CA at the California Western School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor and then passing the Colorado bar in 1994. He worked for a time for the Colorado Department of Transportation but most of his professional career was at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO.
After graduating from law school, Scott returned to his beloved Colorado. In the late 1990's, he was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and by some miracle had a liver transplant in April 1998. Healthy and with a new lease on life, Scott reconnected with Jen in September 1998 at Alumni Band for CU's Homecoming. Scott and Jen were inseparable from that time forward and married on October 5, 2002. Son Harrison was born on Jen's birthday in June 2005, and son Zach was born on Scott's birthday in May 2007. Scott also shares his birthday with his dad, so notably, there are three generations of Kaufmans born on the same day.
Scott was indescribably grateful for the extraordinary gifts of life he received and was a fierce advocate for organ and tissue donation. His new liver was gifted by the family of his angel donor who had lost her own life, and on April 14, 1998 he received his life-saving transplant. If not for that precious gift, Scott would not have reconnected with Jen, and this Kaufman family would not be. Scott received his new kidney on April 26, 2011 from the exceptional Bev Holm, who was a Good Samaritan living donor. Scott's new kidney was also made possible by his oldest brother Greg donating his own kidney to a stranger on the transplant list. It is not forgotten that others, including brother Matt, were willing to donate a kidney for Scott even though they were not a good match. Bev's gift to Scott improved his quality of life at least tenfold, and undoubtedly gave all of us more time with Scott. Scott always feared that he could never adequately thank his donors or the skilled transplant surgeons at the University of Colorado Hospital for these amazing life-changing gifts. He felt indebted and was sincerely thankful.
Scott was a talented musician and entertainer. Not only could he sing, he played trumpet and piano. In the early 1990s, he busked on piano on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder and played piano in the Walnut Brewery. In more recent years, he played piano at License No. 1 inside the Hotel Boulderado. He was a piano magnet. If there was a piano to be played, he would find it and bring it to life with a distinctive playing style that was his own. He played trumpet in several jazz bands, including with the Colorado Jazz Workshop and with the Center for Musical Arts. Many will remember him as a prolific songwriter of goofy, witty holiday songs, which he would gleefully write and perform to everyone's delight at the annual Kaufman Holiday Sing-a-Long. He brought joy to many. He played and sang until IPF did not allow him to do so.
Scott was one of a kind. He was a goofball, a jokester, a storyteller, a philosopher, a musician, a singer, an actor, an entertainer, a romantic, a fierce friend, an intellectual, an avid baseball, football and soccer fan (he adored watching the World Cup), a foodie, a lover of hot peppers and hot sauce, a lover of burritos, green chili, and gumbo, a turophile (lover of cheese!), a reader, a history buff, a science fiction enthusiast, a cinephile, an animal lover, someone who stopped and smelled the roses, and who had a remarkable photographic memory for movies and television commercials and shows from any decade. He was an amazing husband and father, and had countless friends who adored him.
Scott is survived by wife Jen; sons Harrison and Zach; father Tom Kaufman of Fort Collins, CO; brother Greg Kaufman and his wife Gail of Albuquerque, NM; brother Matt Kaufman and his wife Cindy of Fort Collins, CO; niece MacKinzie Kaufman of Fort Collins, CO; niece Mason Kaufman of Loveland, CO, in-laws Jane and Randy Rieck of Englewood, CO; sister-in-law, Deb Szumny and her husband Jon of Centennial, CO, and nephews Kaelen and Braedon Szumny of Centennial, CO, and his four-legged companion, Guilford. Scott was preceded in death by his sweet mother, Rosemary.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring.
In the meantime, register as an organ donor, go see a movie in the theatre, or eat a burrito for Scott.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Scott's honor to:
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, https://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/tribute-program
Donor Alliance, https://www.donoralliance.org/contribute/
Alliance for Paired Donation, https://paireddonation.org/donate-today/
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