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Hans Kaufhold, 93, of Peterborough, died peacefully at his home in his sleep on March 23, 2021.
Hans was born on Easter Sunday, April 17th, 1927 in Hamburg, Germany. He was the third of five children born to Harry and Lina Kaufhold. From a young age Hans learned the trade of stonecutting, and started his apprenticeship at fourteen at a monument company nearby. When WWII started air raids and bomb cellars became a common thing in his life. The Kaufhold's house was badly damaged in the summer of 1942. Later the entire house was burnt to the ground in the largest bombing of Hamburg during WWII.
In January of 1944, at sixteen, Hans was reluctantly drafted into the German army. On April 16, 1945, one day before his eighteenth birthday, he was captured by the Americans, and transported by truck to an open field with thousands of other prisoners. He stayed at that camp for two months and by the time he got home the war was thankfully over. After the war life was very difficult as there were shortages of everything. As a family, they quickly decided to immigrate to the United States.
He received his visa in 1949 and made arrangements to live at his aunt's farm in upstate New York. After two years of farming Hans returned to stone carving which led him to the Vermont Marble Company in Proctor, Vermont. Hans worked with Orfeo Mutti at the Vermont Marble Company who introduced him to his daughter Roberta before her high school graduation. To quote Hans, "I went to her house for pie (rhubarb) to look me over. It was to be love at first sight." Hans and Roberta were married in 1956 and moved to New Hampshire where they quickly began to expand their family. Six kids born in five years, thanks to a set of twins!
Hans bought Peterborough Marble and Granite Works in 1958 from the Brennan Family. This is the oldest continuously run business in Peterborough. Hans was a longtime member of the Independent Order of Fellows Lodge of Peterborough and the Altemont Masonic Lodge #26 where he rose to the position of Master in 1965. Hans was a talented award winning stone carver as well as wood carver and in 1999 was selected to represent NH in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC for his stone carving skills.
Hans and Roberta spent so much of their marriage traveling, with their kids and their grandkids. Together they traveled to 49 of the 50 states, and later in life proudly became "Winter Texans." They hosted annual family parties famous for games like "bowling for groceries," "horse-racing," and "dress up." Hans and Roberta were always holding hands, and could always be found dancing if they heard music.
Hans lived a life dedicated to hard work, and family. Hans never actually retired, as you could always find him working in the garden, helping with layout at PMGW, or tending his marigolds. He was involved in the community in Peterborough and Texas and to his extended family in so many ways, and his love will always be felt by so many.
Hans is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Roberta (Mutti) Kaufhold, five of their six children; John, Peter, Tom, Heidi Kaufhold, Valli Hannings, their loving spouses, 13 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. Hans is predeceased by his daughter Erika Fiske, who passed in 2009. We know she is there to greet him, ready to dance the days away.
Per Hans' wishes there will be no calling hours or services. The family will have a private burial in the summer.
Donations in his memory, may be made to the Altemont Masonic Lodge #26, PO Box 175, W. Peterborough, NH, 03468, or Hospice at HCS, 9 Vose Farm Road, Suite 110, Peterborough, NH, 03458.
To share memories, photos, or condolences, please visit his online memorial at www. Cournoyerfh.com.