July 7, 1951 – January 1, 2018
Loving husband, father, papa and great friend, enthusiast for hunting, cars and Harleys, Ron lived life engaged with others to the fullest.
Ron was born in Renton and grew up on his family’s little farm on the west hill of Auburn. It was a great place for adventuring with his brothers and sister, the neighbors and his cousins, learning a love for hunting and fishing from his dad and gaining an ethic of work through summer jobs at the valley farms. Graduating from Federal Way High School with the class of 1969, Ron made lifelong friends. While working part-time finishing high school and attending Green River Community College, he learned and practiced the skill of plumbing and business management.
In 1977, he and his wife Debbie (met at GRCC and married in 1972), launched Sunrise Plumbing. Sunrise grew to be a highly successful plumbing contractor specializing in new construction and commercial work, employing at one time more than 100 employees. His leadership, loyalty to his employees and commitment to high quality work and follow through, made Sunrise a success that was passed at his retirement in 2011, to his handpicked new owners – Casey, Dave and Kim.
Ron’s kids, were the sparkle in his eye – Michelle, Kurtis and Jenna. He had a great way with all kids, and with his own he enjoyed time out at their cabin on Lake Thomas, teaching them to fish, water ski, ride snowmobiles and four wheelers and going to the ocean to clam dig and play in the sand. He shared his love of hunting with many family and friends over the years, but teaching Kurtis the love of the sport was a particular joy. While the light in Ron’s eyes dimmed at the loss of his son in a snowmobile accident on January 1, 2010, it was reborn in the flame that grew with the birth of his first granddaughter Zoey and even stronger as Avery, Riley and his new grandson, Mason joined the family. He could not have been more proud of his daughters and their families and relished “Face Time” and every real moment he could spend with them.
He acquired an extended family and a great love with Cindy who he married in May of 2006. Cindy joined Ron in his zest for adventure and they spent time on their Harleys, working on house and garden projects, golfing and hosting all their family and friends at The Lakes and their home in Arizona. They enjoyed together the dream home that Ron built on a portion of the family’s property in Auburn creating a warm place for friends and loved ones to gather. They liked to travel and Maui was a favorite.
He leaves a big hole in the hearts of the many lives he touched and will be dearly missed by his wife Cindy; his daughters Michelle (Matt) and Jenna (Demarco); grandchildren Zoey, Avery, Riley and Mason; siblings Dan (Vickie), Chuck (Ginny), Mary (Tom); stepdaughter Jessica (Joe), grandkids Taylore, Brenden, Preston, Jenna, Aryana, Parker and Archer; and his nieces, nephews, uncle, aunts, cousins and his many, many friends.
After 66 short years, his big heart gave out and Ron joins his son Kurtis and his mom and dad in heaven.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma (2707 East D Street).
Flowers, remembrances can be made to the Kurtis Kaufman Fund to Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, PO Box 5371, Seattle 98145-5005 or online www.seattlechildrens.org/ways-to-help/donate/