Mary Jo Markwood Kauffman

September 25, 1927May 5, 2018

Mary Jo Markwood Kauffman, 90, of Lancaster, Ohio, passed away on May 5, 2018. Mary Jo was born on September 25, 1927 to the late Gordon and Francis Markwood. She graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1945 and the Lancaster-Fairfield County Hospital School of Nursing in 1948, as a Registered Nurse. She married Donald S. Kauffman in 1948 and they had 3 daughters: Carol, Chris, and Ellen. Mary Jo and Don were members of the First United Methodist Church in Lancaster and were active in the Fairfield County Farm Bureau and the Lancaster Elks Club, as well as other organizations. Mary Jo was also active in the Fairfield County chapter of the American Cancer Society. Later in life, she resided in Whitehall, then in Beaufort, South Carolina, before returning several years ago to live at the family farm on Stringtown Road in Lancaster. Mary Jo is survived by her daughters Carol Ritter (Jack) of Lancaster, Chris Hofmeister of Hideaway Hills in Sugar Grove, and Ellen Kauffman of Dublin; Carol's two daughters, Elizabeth Levy and Amy Donaldson (George Pride), of Gahanna; Elizabeth's son Zachary Hensley of Gahanna; and Amy and George's five children: Geordon Pride, Mason Pride, Amy Leigh Pride, Leleah Pride, and Lee Pride, all of Gahanna. She is also survived by her brothers Richard Markwood (Carol) and Mike Markwood (Debbie) of Lancaster; sister Joyce McCartney of Lancaster; sister Judy Fraley (Homer) of Whitewright, Texas; and many nieces and nephews. Mary Jo enjoyed a fulfilling career as a Registered Nurse. She loved golfing, flower gardening, and being outdoors in nature. In her later years, she enjoyed watching golf tournaments on TV, as well as basketball, baseball, and football. She was preceded in death by Angel, her beloved miniature Schnauzer. Mary Jo will be deeply missed by her loving family. Visitation hours will be on Friday, May 11, 2018, 10:00-11:30am, immediately followed by a funeral service at 11:30am at the Halteman-Fett & Dyer Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mary Jo's name to the Fairfield Area Humane Society, 1721 Granville Pike, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.


  • Fairfield Area Humane Society



  • Visitation Friday, May 11, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 11, 2018


  • Burial

Mary Jo Markwood Kauffman

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Ed Donaldson

May 10, 2018

I speak of Ohio - the Ohio I knew as a boy on Stringtown Road - nearly everyday here at ExxonMobil's campus, in Houston. As a geophysicist working projects worldwide, I have gotten to know many geoscientists and engineers. It's funny strange how us tiny few from the Hocking River valley look at each other and marvel - for we know we are the luckiest ones, being from that valley.

Mary Jo - she is one, my 'Grandma', that had so much to do with why I am here, working the Earth. I saw her, over, and over, working the Earth. Her daughter Carol - my new 'Mom', after she married my Dad - saw to it that I routinely exited the door of the house with my brother, and go outside. We weeded gardens because of Carol - eons of weeding - a terrible toil she foretold I would one day thank her. Thank you Carol, and Mary Jo.

Mary Jo - she was there at the apple orchards - a beautiful place, the Markwood farm. I have written stories and read stories about Orchards to my own kids. But - these stories have a density that would be gauzy and thin without the time she directly gave me, and indirectly through Carol - and yes, through her other daughters, Chris and Ellen.

Mary Jo - who touched dish after dish of lima beans, jam, sweet corn, green beans and watermelons. And with few words that garnished these meals, she showed me and my siblings - though we didn't know it then - how much of the Earth we all were.

Mary Jo - a woman one could 'take for granted'. Like the Earth, I always took her for granted. I know her daughters will miss speaking to her, and her grandchildren too, and me too.

Mary Jo - I will always remember why I love flowers, in pots, just right, on the porch. Meals and morning glories that smelled just right. I married a girl of Cincinnati, who is an awful lot like the daughters of Mary Jo. And I can't express quite what my life would have been like otherwise. I don't even want to imagine it.

Thank you Mary Jo - for sharing your Ohio valley with me.

Lou Cook Kline

May 8, 2018

Our families had such a great time growing up together visiting Old Man's Cave in the fall and sharing spaghetti dinner in the winter, playing tripoli upstairs in the farmhouse, attending the carnival in the barn across the street from the house on Stringtown Road. I am sorry for your loss. Your mom was very special to our family, very sweet. It is sad to say goodbye. Many blessings to your family.

Jack Blankenship

May 8, 2018

Sorry for your loss, my deepest sympathy to your family