Joseph Julius "Joe" Kaufman, real estate executive, dies

Joseph Julius "Joe" Kaufman, a retired real estate executive who with his wife established a nonprofit foundation that furnishes books to inner-city public schools, died July 31 of heart failure at his Pikesville home.

He was 81.

Born in Minneapolis, Mr. Kaufman spent his early years in Omaha, Neb., and Colorado before settling in 1931 in Forest Park with his father and stepmother.

After graduating in 1948 from Forest Park High School, he attended the University of Maryland, College Park and St. John's College in Annapolis.

He was married in 1956 to the former Trudy Basler.

From 1951 to 1978, Mr. Kaufman was a corrosion engineer and plant manager with Southern Galvanizing Co. on Bush Street.

After leaving the company in 1978, he earned his real estate license and entered the real estate firm of Trout, Segall & Doyle, which was owned by a cousin and where he worked until retiring in 1999.

Mr. Kaufman volunteered with the city Parks and Recreation Department and had served as chairman of its board. He also served as a daughter's Brownie troop leader.

"When my mother was the Girl Scout troop leader of my sisters' troop, no mother came forward to be the leader of my Brownie troop," said a daughter, Margie Diven of Ellicott City. "Dad became our Brownie troop leader and got many other dads involved."

After a close friend died from diabetes, he began volunteering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where he helped develop a starter kit used by children newly diagnosed with diabetes.

In 2006, Mr. Kaufman and his wife established the Trudy and Joe Kaufman Foundation School Library Swap Book Foundation that donated books to struggling inner-city public schools' libraries.

"To date, the foundation has collected and distributed 16,000 books to inner-city schools and he was in the process of expanding this effort to Baltimore County," said a son-in-law, Steve Pepper of Atlanta.

A world traveler, Mr. Kaufman enjoyed family vacations to Delaware beaches and the Outer Banks.

Services were held Aug. 2.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include two other daughters, Susan Pepper of Atlanta and Lisa Alfera of Annapolis; and five grandchildren.

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