Beloved son, father, football player, won scholarship to University of Michigan
Zachary (Zach) Kaufman was born on November 9, 1981. He died suddenly in his sleep on June 13 at the age of 40.
Zach grew up in Claremont. He attended Vista Elementary School, El Roble Middle School, and graduated from Claremont High School in 2000.
He was an enthusiastic kid, sharing a “big, wide smile” that was irresistible even when attempting any shenanigans. He threw himself headlong into games, projects and his true love, sport. At an early age (probably six months), he demonstrated amazing and daring athletic abilities. There was never any mention of a birthday present, as it would be whatever sports ball he was currently in. His enthusiasm was contagious, making him a loyal friend and teammate.
He played AYSO and club soccer from kindergarten through college. His mother, Kim, made sure there were clean socks and appropriately sized cleats every Saturday (a daunting task for a rapidly growing child!). She was an avid fan and supporter of all his sporting engagements and you could hear her cheering on the sidelines as he played hard! He also played baseball in the Claremont Little League and on a college travel team.
His talent skyrocketed in the four years he played football for the Claremont High Wolfpack, primarily as a linebacker. There, with great guidance and coaching, he made lifelong friends who became his extended family. Football helped shape the man he would become. He earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he was a linebacker on the Wolverine football team from 2000 to 2004.
He returned to Claremont and the Inland Empire after graduating from college. He worked primarily in medical sales, with his last job in sales for a commercial roofing company.
He leaves behind his mother Kim; son, Tristen; his love Tiffany and his two children, Faith and Frankie; brother Ashley; sister Lindsey; and a large extended family in Colorado, Santa Barbara and Wyoming.
A celebration of life and open house will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 at Louise Roberts Hall at Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.
For all the many friends and family asking how to honor Zach, please consider making a charitable donation in his name to the Claremont High School Football Program at https://org.eteamsponsor.com/ETS/supportUs/414150286or by check with “Zach Kaufman” in the note line, mailed to Claremont High School, 1601 N. Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711, Attn: Mike Collins.
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