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Beaverton's active veteran Bob Caufman loses battle with cancer

Leader of American Legion Post 124 brought military displays, wall of honor to Memorial Park
by: Jaime Valdez, Bob Caufman, former leader of American Legion Post 124, spent many years adding military displays and a Veterans Memorial wall to Memorial Park on Southwest Watson Avenue.

Beaverton veteran Bob Caufman, who was active in bringing military displays and a wall of honor to Memorial Park, died early Thursday morning.

The charismatic 81-year-old had battled both brain and lung cancer for the past four months. He died at the Beaverton Rehabilitation Center, where he was receiving care.

'He was in very good hands,' said Caufman's wife, Marilyn. 'The people at the Beaverton Rehab Center were so good to him.'

Caufman, who was the post commander for Beaverton American Legion Post 124, was the driving force behind the creation of the Veterans Memorial at Beaverton's Memorial Park and its other many features honoring our nation's veterans.

'I'm so damn proud of that park,' Caufman said just weeks before his death.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Young's Funeral Home, 11831 S.W. Pacific Highway, Tigard.

'Bob was among the finest Beaverton had to offer and his spirit will always be present at Memorial Park,' said Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake. 'He was such a fine man with a strong spirit and such a positive outlook.

'He always looked for the best in people and situations. I'm really going to miss Bob. He's one of those people you could always rely on to tell it to you straight. He meant what he said and he said what he meant.'

In July, Caufman realized something was wrong when he woke one morning 'dizzier than the dickens.'

After going to the hospital, tests revealed that he had four tumors the size of a small fingernail in his brain and another in one of his lungs.

What followed were 17 sessions of radiation treatment and an aggressive round of chemotherapy that had been successful in shrinking the tumors.

Visits from community members and friends helped to keep Caufman's spirit high.

'I have great friends,' Caufman said. 'It really helps to know that people are thinking about you.

'My wife has been amazing too. Marilyn's been here every minute. My sweetheart, I would not be here without my red-headed tomato.'