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Obituary for Brooks Kaufman

Brooks  Kaufman
Brooks Kaufman died at his Phillips Mill home on December 16, 2017.
He was born in Altoona, PA in 1923 to Dr. and Mrs. David Kaufman. He was an excellent athlete and was the quarterback of his high school football team.

After a year of attending Pennsylvania State University, he rushed to join the military after the December 7th bombing of Pearl Harbor. He became a Marine pilot in the South Pacific, achieving the rank of Major and was the recipient of the DFC.

After the war, always being interested in new trends in aviation, he became a test pilot for Bell Aircraft in their helicopter division. He realized the great potential of the helicopter.

He met his wife, Joyce, in the summer of 1942, but in the fall left to go to war. They married in 1947 and then Brooks went off to helicopter training. He flew the first licensed Bell helicopter, making him one of the first commercial pilots.

Brooks pioneered the helicopter all over the country, crop dusting Heinz tomatoes on Long Island and cotton in Mexico, looking for oil in Louisiana for Shell Oil, flying photographers all around the Empire State Building for the New York Journal American, checking the power lines from Los Angeles to the Boulder Dam and delivering Santa Claus to many cities. It was an exciting adventure, but when he decided it was time to move on, he went back to Pennsylvania State University for a year.

Then he decided to attend Yale University to study architecture which had always been another career choice before the war had intervened. After four years, he received his Bachelor and Master degrees. His first job was at the New York Port Authority assigned to work on a heliport.

He practiced architecture for the next fifty years in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He designed college campuses and buildings, over 200 high schools in New Jersey, libraries, buildings for A. M. Best Co., Prudential and Sandoz Pharmaceutical, banks, an infirmary for Benedictine monks and various projects for friends. He loved his work.

In 1972 he and his wife bought the building beside their home which at one time had been a barn, then Miss Holmquist School for Girls and then created The Inn at Phillips Mill. Later they bought a lovely old house in Point Pleasant, PA and made it into an inn named Tattersall.

He leaves his wife, Joyce, a nephew Henry Kane of New Hope, PA, a niece Diana Van Auken of Boston, MA, two brothers, Dr. Robert Kaufman of Lewistown, PA and Barry Kaufman of Altoona, PA. and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be private.
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(609) 397-0105 21 York St. | LAMBERTVILLE, NJ 08530 | Fax: (609) 397-9394 | Email: rtmcdonough@aol.com