Joseph Michael Kaufmann, 21, of Irmo, South Carolina, passed away on February 11, 2022, after a courageous fight against cancer. Joseph was born in Columbia, South Carolina to Carol Marie Hodge Kaufmann and John Eric Kaufmann. He was the youngest of four brothers. Joseph graduated from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, South Carolina and hoped to follow in his brothers’ footsteps at Clemson University. Joseph was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis at an early age. Although his illness required numerous medical appointments, multiple hospitalizations, and a daily medication regimen, he never let his condition dampen his optimism. Joseph loved being outdoors. He enjoyed hunting with his friends Joel and Wes, fishing at Lake Murray, hiking in Harbison State Forest, and biking at Saluda Shoals Park. He loved animals and took special joy in spotting deer in the woods or along the roads. Joseph always looked forward to trips to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. He expressed a desire to work as a wildlife rehabilitator or natural resources officer, and fostered a number of puppies through a local animal rescue organization, Pawmetto Lifeline. Joseph loved playing sports, especially soccer. He spent hours happily sprinting the fields at the local YMCA and SC United FC. Joseph enjoyed watching his favorite movies and tv shows with his family. He developed an infectious chuckle as a baby, and never lost his sense of humor through the many trials of his youth. Always a prankster, Joseph never missed opportunities to take photos of his family members when they were not looking (and usually at awkward moments), leaving them to joke that he had a future as a paparazzo. Joseph loved cooking and grilling, and always looked forward to dining on a delicious steak. He enjoyed his favorites at the Hall family restaurants in South Carolina. Joseph formed close bonds with the Hall family and other friends from the Charleston area. Joseph loved to travel and enjoyed special trips to Florida, Colorado, and Hawaii. He always looked forward to visiting his grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins over the holidays. Among his favorite destinations was Disney World in Orlando, where he spent hours with family, riding the attractions and trading collectible pins. Joseph is survived by his parents, his three adoring brothers: Joshua M. Kaufmann, Jacob A. Kaufmann, and Jonathan T. Kaufmann, his beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins, and his cherished chihuahua, Isabella. Joseph will live on forever in the hearts of his family and friends. No one was a stranger to him and he treated everyone with the kindness of a close friend. He was a precious gift to his family and a hero and inspiration to those whose lives he touched. The family will gratefully accept gifts of flowers in memory of Joseph. Donations may be made to these foundations/organizations in Joseph’s honor: The Holy Pursuit’s Dream Foundation, organizations dedicated to finding cures and more effective treatments for Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis and Neuroendocrine Cancer, and also to organizations dedicated to rescuing and caring for homeless animals. Please send cards to: 107 Autumn Woods Drive Irmo, SC 29063. Funeral arrangements are being handled by: Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, 812 Main Street Portage, PA 15946
1-814-736-4441 www.serenkoclaarfuneralhome.com. Visitation for family will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 25, 2022 at Serenko-Claar Funeral Home. Visitation for friends of the family will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 25, 2022 at Serenko-Claar Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2022, at Holy Family Parish (Father Tom Stabile, T.O.R., celebrant). Joseph will be laid to rest at the St. John the Baptist Cemetery following the Mass.
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