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Marilyn Jane Kouffman

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 00:41

Marilyn Jane Kouffman of East Hampton, an actress in Off Broadway productions who appeared on the stage at Guild Hall after moving here in the late 1950s, died of pneumonia at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital on April 12. She was 91, and had been ill for two weeks.

She owned MKL Construction in East Hampton with her late husband, Maurice H. Kouffman. 

The two were married on Aug. 6, 1948, and moved to East Hampton in 1959, after returning from Israel, where they played a significant role in its establishment as a nation, according to her family. Mr. Kouffman had been chief of North American operations for El Al Israel Airlines from 1950 to 1958 and Mrs. Kouffman worked as a stewardess for a time. She had also acted on television. “She was known is Israel as ‘the American Beauty,’ ” her family said. 

“Vivacious and confident,” she was also “beautiful, elegant, and refined,” her daughter Heather Kouffman said. “Her smile and sparkling blue-green eyes lit up every room she entered,” said her daughter Carol Kouffman. “She was the most gracious person I’ve ever known, an angel.” 

Her children said she was “a brilliant star devoted to her husband and family.” 

In East Hampton, the couple were founding members of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons. Mrs. Kouffman had also worked as a real estate agent.  

She was a lifelong member of Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization of America, and loved reading, traveling, and languages.

She was born on June 20, 1927, in New York City to Walter Miller and Minerva Delabar Miller. She graduated from Julia Richman High School, and received nurse’s training at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

She is survived by four children, Robert Kouffman, Philip Kouffman, Carol Kouffman, and Heather Kouffman, all of East Hampton, as well as by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Shiva will be observed at her house at 67 Hither Lane in East Hampton on Sunday and Monday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.