Long-time Valley resident and businessman, Melvin “Mel” Eugene Kauffman of Manteca, passed away on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton surrounded by his loving family.
He was 91 years old. Mel was born in Brush, Colorado, and had two sisters, Norma and Helen who are among his survivors. As a young boy, after his family moved to California, Mel went to work as a newspaper carrier for The Vallejo Evening News, “the local daily with the Saturday evening paper,” according to his business card provided by the newspaper. The copy that accompanied his smiling mug shot introduced him as “a part of the only Vallejo newspaper that believes in giving their carriers a business of their own.”
During World War II, he signed up as a Merchant Marine. He was 17 years old. He was a Merchant Marine until the end of the war. After the war, he held various jobs including being a lineman for PG& E and as a sheet metal worker. When he was 26 years old, he started his own business, Accurate Heating and Cooling, with $500 that he borrowed. His business served the Castro Valley and surrounding areas where many of his commercial customers are still operating today. He moved to the San Joaquin Valley in 1976 where he continued his business, this time in the manufacturing end of sheet metal, and started Delta A/C Supply in 1988. The business is located on West Yosemite Avenue in Lathrop, CA.
Mel was involved in many organizations in the communities where he lived and in the sheet metal industry. He served as president of the Bay Area Sheet Metal Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), and was on the board of directors of the national SMACNA. He was a member of the Optimist Club in the Bay Area. He also served on the board of directors of Pine Mountain Lake in Groveland, CA, just to name a few of his various involvements.
He was also a big supporter of many charitable and community causes including the annual Lathrop Mayor’s Art Purchase Award Show and Sale.
Mel leaves behind his beloved wife Joan Kauffman. They were happily together for 47 years. They were married on the Fourth of July.
He is also survived by his children, Harry of Danville, Randy of Tracy, Wendy Churukian (Dr. Michael) of Pasadena, Raleigh Fagan of the Bay Area, sisters Norma Guaspari (Al) and Helen Schnone, both of Milbrae, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews who all loved “Papa.”
A celebration of life for Melvin Eugene Kauffman will be held Saturday, April 21, at P.L. Fry & Son, 290 N. Union Road, in Manteca. Graveside services will be held Monday, April 23, at 11 a.m. at Divide Cemetery, 13800 Memorial Drive, in Groveland, CA.
P.L. Fry & Son is in charge of arrangements.