Obituary: Kaufmann, multimedia specialist in computing, 26

William C. “Billy” Kaufmann, multimedia specialist in Medical Computing Services at the School of Medicine, died Monday, May 14, 2007, in a motorcycle accident in South St. Louis. He was 26.

Billy Kaufmann
Billy Kaufmann

Kaufmann worked for the medical school for nearly seven years. As multimedia specialist, he produced original videos for medical school departments and groups and filmed surgical procedures, public events and promotional pieces. He worked closely with faculty to create educational materials and was one of the key staff members in the Medical Computing Services’ offering of videoconferencing at the medical school.

“Billy was a joy to work with — he was so enthusiastic about the work he was doing and about helping people here at the medical school,” said Bob Engeszer, manager of Application Programming and Development in Medical Computing Services. “He was well known around the medical campus because he worked with a lot of people — faculty, students and staff. I think people would unanimously say that Billy was a really special talent.”

Barbara Norton, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy and associate director for postprofessional studies, said Kaufmann was instrumental in helping the Program in Physical Therapy establish its distance-learning postprofessional classes, doing everything from researching and setting up the software to taping and webcasting classes and helping students with technical issues.

“He was a fascinating kid with so many different perspectives on life for someone his age,” Norton said. “He was always curious, always learning, always happy and was such a bright spot. He was for me the son I didn’t have — he was so engaging, so charming, so wonderful, so interested in what was going on.”

Norton said the Program in Physical Therapy gave service awards to its staff who helped establish the distance-learning program, including Kaufmann. The plaque he received was among his mementos at his visitation.

He is survived by his parents, Lucy and Richard Kaufmann; half siblings; aunts; uncles; and cousins.

A service was held May 19 at St. David Catholic Church in Arnold, Mo.

Memorial contributions may be made to Washington University School of Medicine, Bernard Becker Medical Library, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Mo., 63110, or to the Saint Louis Zoo Tribute Fund, Saint Louis Zoo Friends Association, One Government Drive, St. Louis, Mo., 63110.