April Kauffman’s goal was giving back to veterans.
So, as friends and family mark the second anniversary of her killing Saturday, those attending a vigil are asked to bring a toy or gift card to benefit local veteran families.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 7 p.m., at Woodstock Drive and the bike path, by a bench dedicated in her name and down the street from the Linwood home where she was found shot to death May 10, 2012.
It’s a difficult time for her only daughter, Kimberly Pack, who will face another anniversary with no arrest in the case, and then mark Mother’s Day Sunday without her mom.
“She was the person who got me through things,” Pack said Friday, crying as she spoke of her mother.
The vigil helps, though. The stories from the myriad people her mother helped mean a lot to her, Pack said.
“It’s such a humbling experience,” she said.
At her mother’s grave, she sees the rocks and trinkets left by those who still remember, and it make her smile.
“The hardest thing is, I don’t know anybody who’s been through this,” Pack said. “I wish I did just to know how to navigate this. The first year it was numbing. Now, it’s just so unreal. I miss her terribly.”
Pack is currently in a legal battle with her stepfather, Dr. James Kauffman. The federal suit was originally filed by the widower against the insurance company that failed to pay him on two policies totaling $600,000 that the deceased woman took out, naming him beneficiary.
Transamerica Life Insurance said it had no problem paying the policies, but couldn’t give the money to Dr. Kauffman without a guarantee he was not a suspect in his wife’s death. Without that assurance, they refused to pay. Instead, the company suggested Pack — the secondary beneficiary — be brought in as an interested third party. Shortly after she joined the case, the insurance company made a deal to pay the money into a trust, leaving the court to decide who is entitled to it.
In court documents, Pack said “Plaintiff James Michael Kauffman is responsible for the intentional killing of April Kauffman ...” the first time anyone publicly accused him of involvement in his wife’s death.
Pack cannot talk about the case, but instead spoke Friday of the things she misses about her mother: her giggle, the ability she had to make her daughter laugh, how “she knew me better than I know myself.”
“I feel like I live in ‘The Twilight Zone,’” Pack said. “I’m trying my best to think of the good times.”
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