Betty Sarah Kaufman, 96, of Marblehead and Salem, passed away on September 2, 2020, at home after a brief illness.
Betty was born on August 20, 1924, to the late Samuel and Rose Grob of Lynn. She was the sister of Sidney Grob, who predeceased her this year, and his wife Edna Grob of Swampscott. She was the sister-in-law of the late Murray and the late Myra Cohen of Marblehead.
Raised in Lynn, Betty graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1942. Betty met her future husband, Fred M. Kaufman, in a freshman science class as lab partners, where they became best friends and would tell jokes and pass notes to one another. They were married for 68 years until Fred’s passing in 2013.
After high school, Betty studied nursing at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, graduating as an RN in 1945. She worked for 45 years at the Lafayette Nursing Home in Marblehead, primarily as a charge nurse, before she retired at age 85. She was always open to innovations and even adapted to using a computer for some of her tasks in later years. She was known as a superb nurse, a wonderful team player who was very attentive and sensitive to the patients for whom she was a caregiver. Universally respected, and a strong, accomplished woman, Betty was a finalist for the Kenneth B. Schwartz award for compassionate caregiving soon after its’ establishment. She was fully engaged in the world intellectually until the moment that she passed away, maintaining an interest in current events and scientific advances well into her 90s, along with a streak of independence. She continued to be a voracious reader into her 90s as well.
Betty loved the performing arts, and greatly enjoyed going to the Opera, independent films, and plays. She had a substantial collection of Playbills that she treasured from every show she attended. On Saturday afternoons, she and Fred would listen to Broadway show tunes on Emerson College radio.
Betty and Fred raised three children, all of whom pursued medical careers as a result of her strong role-modeling, intellectual excitement, and sensitivity. Susan Gorban and Amy Kaufman Borovsky both are RNs, and Matthew Kaufman is a hematologist/oncologist. She leaves them behind, as well as her grandchildren Rebecca Gorban, Leah and Michael Gorman, Sara Kaufman and Daniel Tyre-Karp, Emily Kaufman and Christopher Gabriel, and Noah Borovsky. She also was the proud Baba of five great-grandchildren: Elie Gorman, Max and Zoe Karp, and newly arrived twin boys Grey and Brooks Gabriel. She was the mother-in-law of the late Marcia Asquith Kaufman, whom she loved dearly. She leaves many beloved nieces and nephews, as well as their children and grandchildren.
After their children started independent lives, Fred and Betty embarked on a decades-long journey to see the world. They traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, befriending many of their fellow travelers and guides due to their outgoing and warm personalities. Betty loved living near the ocean. She and Fred would often travel to Ogunquit, Maine to enjoy the beaches there in the summer, and they also cherished their travel throughout New England’s country inns.
Reflecting back on her life, she stated on multiple occasions that her childhood was a wonderful time. Despite severe financial constraints as a result of the Depression, she lived on a Lynn street that was a melting pot. No one knew that they were poor and everyone helped the other person out.
Betty’s burial was private and there was no shiva due to Covid-19. Her life and accomplishments will be celebrated when the safety concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic permit. Remembrances may be sent to the Rabbi’s Fund, Temple Emmanu-el, 393 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements were handled by Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel, Salem.