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Mrs. Estelle Lieberman Kaufman

Obituary for Mrs. Estelle Lieberman Kaufman

April 12, 1928 - July 29, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 92


Estelle (Prissy) Kaufman passed away peacefully on July 29, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas, at age 92. She radiated a rare outer and inner beauty with a deep personal faith. Her legacy will be remembered as the most giving and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother; as well as a beloved aunt, sister-in-law, cousin, and friend. She maintained a unique, individual relationship with each of them.

Estelle was born in Robstown, TX on April 12, 1928 and graduated from the University of Texas where she met her soulmate and future husband of 49 years, Jack Hammer Kaufman. It was Jack who famously gave Estelle her permanent nickname, Prissy, on their very first date. They married in 1950 and moved to San Antonio following Jack's graduation from the University of Texas Law School.

Prissy's accomplishments as a community leader and volunteer extraordinaire were remarkable. At Temple Beth-El she co-founded Health-O-Rama with Lynn Stahl, which led to over 4,000 attendees receiving free medical screening each year. In addition, she was a prime mover in establishing the Temple Beth El's annual Mitzvah Day with over 700 volunteers, during which 70 local agencies received assistance.

She also co-founded the Southwest Foundation Forum. She served as president of the San Antonio Bar Woman's Auxiliary, which, under her leadership, produced a play "The Land of Zaraba" for elementary children to teach respect for the law. Prissy was the first woman president of the Alamo Heights High School PTO and was a member of the Board of Directors of the CTRC. At the CTRC, she headed the Patients' Guide Program to aid patients as they received chemotherapy and received the Sondra Sugarman Cancer Care Award.

It is not surprising that Prissy was recognized as "Volunteer of the Year" from both the San Antonio Express-News and the Cancer Center Council. While many others were involved in these activities, it was Prissy's energy and willingness to think outside the box that helped contribute to each program's success.
Prissy had many names, but the one she held the most dear was Gram. Her grandchildren were her biggest joy. They delight in remembering cuddles on the porch swing, apples during school pickup, Texas Longhorns chants, and that charming southern accent. To them, she will forever be their chocolate-sneaking, gin-rummy-playing, fearless cheerleader who calls the day before a birthday to ask, "How olddd areee youuu?" She spent so much time with her grandbabies that they each thought they were her favorite. They will forever take an extra round of family photos in her honor, just in case someone forgets to take off their glasses...

She had a wonderful gift of reaching out to others in need and making them part of her family. Whether helping first graders from underprivileged homes learn to read or inviting soldiers to her home for the holidays, her connection to people was infectious. She would light up a room with her beautiful smile and infectious enthusiasm, often making her the last to leave. Everyone she met anywhere became a cherished friend. Her ability to listen and tell stories captivated all of us. She never hesitated to give encouragement or advice where needed. She was a true mentor and cheerleader to her loved ones and was always there for them.

Whether attending classic movies, taking courses at Trinity University to interpret dreams, participating in a small study group initiated by Rabbi Samuel Stahl, or engaging in political discussions at the national level, she never ceased activities that stimulated her mind and quenched her thirst for knowledge.

Although our matriarch is no longer with us, Mom/Gram's legacy will continue to set the high standard of what we all should strive to become – giving more than taking, loving our family, inspiring the younger generation to speak out and constantly using our time and resources to help those in need.

Prissy is survived by her children, Bill Kaufman, Karleen Kaufman Kusin and her husband Gary, Ann Kaufman Engel and her husband David; grandchildren Ben Kusin (Marina Monroe), Eric Kusin (Irene), Philip Engel (Courtney), Brad Kaufman (Jen), Karleen Katzman (Jared), Elizabeth Vivero (David), Morgan Kaufman, Caroline Pritchard (Tavita); great-grandchildren, Kaia and Mila Kusin, Stella and Preston Kusin, Sydney and Mio Vivero, Afi and Manu Pritchard, Jack and Beatrice Engel, Max, Spencer and Caleb Katzman; brother-in-law Tom Kaufman, nieces and nephews Warren Kaufman (Brian Allen), Barbara Lack (Jay), Susan Martin (Bill), Jack Jessel (Peggy), and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, her sister and brother-in-law Dorothy and Joe Jessel and her parents Philip and Pearl Lieberman.

Prissy's family wishes to thank all of those who were so wonderful and cared for her in her final years, including Vesta Flaggert, Claire Gomez, Nora Ramirez, and all the Avionn caregivers, her wonderful and caring doctors Dr. Steven Kalter and Dr. Robert Goff. And especially to our dear Alicia Luevanos who was always lovingly by her side, making every day full and happy. In addition, much love to Lynn and Sam Stahl; you were Prissy's lifelong friends and co-conspirators.
A private family burial service was held in San Antonio on July 31st. There will be a virtual memorial service on Wednesday, August 5 at 12:00 noon. Those wishing to participate go to Temple Beth El's website:

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Jack and Estelle Kaufman Community Outreach Fund at Temple Beth El.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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