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Milton M. Kaufmann
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Service: Memorial services are pending
Location: Arlington National Cemetery

MILTON M. KAUFMANN 1918-2015

Passed away in the early evening of Thursday, October 29, 2015 in Montgomery Village, Maryland. He was 97 years old. He is survived by his loving and devoted daughter Luana Kaufmann and he is preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Sabina G. Kaufmann. It is nearly impossible to describe this giant of a man, whose magnitude was manifested in his love for his family Sabina and Luana, his compassion for his fellow man, and his contributions to the planet. His kindness, generosity, wit, and charm, so sincere and effortless, were infinite and he was beloved by all: those who had just met him, those who became colleagues and/or friends, caregivers, and extended family.

After completing a thirty-year career in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Colonel in 1971, he started a new career as a wildlife and habitat conservationist, which he vigorously pursued for 40 years. Among his numerous accomplishments were: helping to create a strong U.S. Endangered Species Act and the U.S Marine Mammal Protection Act, establishing and coordinating WIDECAST (an international Sea Turtle Conservation Network), and founding several Monitor consortia (NGO�s which worked with governments to solve environmental problems), the current one being Monitor Caribbean, and which is going strong.

Just as passionate on a local level, he founded the Lakes, Ponds & Streams Committee in Montgomery Village, MD, he helped to save a 200-year old English elm tree (known as the Goshen Elm), which ultimately became the Maryland Millenium Landmark Tree, and he worked to preserve miles of county and state trails and to expand greenway. Not least importantly, ever-concerned about human suffering, he organized a volunteer food collection network.

Milton was a modest man, but he was indeed proud of his awards and honors. On his military retirement in 1971, the President of the United States awarded him the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments, while serving with the Defense Intelligence Agency and for his thirty years of military service. In 1987, he received the Friends of UNEP (USA) 500 Environmental Award. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for 1988 with the other members of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces who had served as of the award date. In 1990, the Executive Director of the United National Environment Programme made him a laureate in the prestigious UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement.

It is hard to fathom that this most benevolent force of nature, somehow housed in one human frame, is no longer residing with us on this earth. But the light in his eye that we all clamored for and could not get enough of cannot be extinguished. It shall gleam brightly in our hearts and memories. Such magnificent goodness burns forever and will continue to reveal itself in all of the people he touched, inspired, mentored, and gifted; and in struggling species and habitats that are now breathing new life because of him.

Memorial services are pending at Arlington National Cemetery.

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