Carol Linda Kaufman, 74, of Kalispell, Mont., and formerly of Woodmere, Long Island, N.Y., and Keene, passed away at Kalispell Hospital after a fall and a period of failing health.
Carol, the oldest of two children, was born Nov. 17, 1946, to Edwin Kaufman and Helene Popover Kaufman in Borough Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. Carol grew up in Brooklyn surrounded by a close-knit Jewish family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and extended family. She attended public schools, graduating from New Utrecht High School in 1964. Carol overcame learning disabilities that were not well understood at that time through sheer will power and perseverance. She was extremely proud of her accomplishments, earning an associate degree in laboratory science at New York City Community College and a bachelor of science in medical science at the College of Staten Island.
Carol began her professional career in the pathology labs at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, a prestigious cancer treatment center in New York City. She also worked second jobs on evenings and weekends at labs around the city. She was an incredibly diligent and conscientious worker. After a decade of hard and stressful work in her chosen profession, Carol decided to see what else life had to offer.
It was during this period of her life that she began to pursue interests, hobbies and dreams that were far more compelling and satisfying. She took classes in 35mm photography, worked with her father to build a darkroom, studied astronomy and the night skies with her telescope, and turned to perennial gardening and landscaping with a passion and incredible attention to detail. Her cottage garden at her parents’ home in Keene was appreciated and admired by her neighbors.
Although she was born and raised in the city, a burgeoning interest in the west, Montana in particular, began to emerge. She made a number of summer bus trips out to Montana and fell in love with the “Last Best Place” as it is known to Montanans. On one of her later trips Carol discovered the magic of train travel. Once she rode “The Empire Builder,” the train that runs from Chicago to Seattle, across the northern plains, over the continental divide and the majestic peaks of Glacier Park, she knew that she had found her Heaven and ultimate destination. In the spring of 2008, after her dad passed away, Carol left Keene and headed to Montana to begin the next chapter of her life. After a few years of seasonal work as a ski lift operator and landscaper in Montana, Utah and Alaska, and with the help of two dear friends, Susie Rhoades and John Mausshardt, Carol settled into a small cabin on the outskirts of Kalispell, Mont. It is there that she found much peace and satisfaction. She spent many great days with her loving malamute, sitting on her porch with views of the flathead forest and mountains, watching the weather, hoping for snowstorms and reading a good adventure book. Fortunately, she had many of those days.
Carol is survived by her brother, Jerrold Kaufman, and his wife, Deborah, of Spofford; her nephew, Isaac Kaufman, and his wife, Kimberly, and their children, Maisie and Rowen, of Hinsdale; her niece, Eleanor Kaufman, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; her aunt and uncle, Rhoda and Saul Turk, of Teaneck, N.J.; and many first cousins. Carol was predeceased by her parents, Edwin and Helene Kaufman, of Keene.
In keeping with Carol’s wishes, her remains will be brought to one of her favorite hiking and camping locations in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana. It was in nature that she found peace, beauty and connection to the sacred created world.