Shirlye Birnbrey, 85, of Augusta

Shirlye Birnbrey, 85, of Augusta

Shirlye Kaufman Birnbrey passed from this earth on September 4, 2013.

CandleShe was active in family, business and charity and her presence will be missed by those that loved her. She was born Shirlye Beverly Wilensky on May 19, 1928 in Augusta, Ga. to Jennie and Harry Wilensky, of blessed memory. She spent her early years in Augusta, often working for Wilensky’s Bargain House, a dry goods store on Broad Street, along with her brother Dr. Leonard Wilensky (Frankie) and sisters Peggy (Sidney) and Elise (Donald) Rosenfeld.

She graduated from Tubman High School at the age of 16, as the editor of The Tubman Times. Shirlye received her A.S. in Science in 1946 from what is now known as Georgia Regents University. She then continued her education and graduated from the University of Georgia, with a B.A. in Journalism.

After the conclusion of World War II, Shirlye met her late husband, George B. Kaufman, while on a blind date. They married in Atlanta in 1950. Shirlye and George remained married for 33 years until his death in 1983. They moved to Atlanta in 1958 and started Kaufman Supply, a building supplies distributorship serving the manufactured housing industry throughout the Southeast. Shirlye managed the inside business operations while George managed sales and marketing. They sold Kaufman Supply to Watsco, a publicly traded company, in 1998.

Shirlye remarried in 1990 to Henry Birnbrey, C.P.A., J.D., partner of Birnbrey, Minsk & Minsk. They lived happily and productively for 23 years, influencing the lives of their many children, step children, grandchildren, step grandchildren, great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

Shirlye’s passion in life was to her family and friends. She is survived by her daughter, Karen (Craig) Senft; and sons, Jeff (Alison) Kaufman, and Mark (Nancy) Kaufman. Her son Richard (Barbara) Kaufman predeceased her in 2010. Shirlye is also survived by her step-children: Judy and Shai Robkin, Edmund and Joanne Birnbrey, David and Karen Birnbrey and Anita and Jeff Stein; her grandchildren: Michelle and David Vizurraga, Lauren Kaufman, Garrett Kaufman, Michael Kaufman, Nicole Kaufman, Marisa Green, Zachary Senft, Jessica Senft, Justin Kaufman; 26 step-grandchildren; her great-grandchildren, Eva and Rennix Vizurraga; and 10 step-great-grandchildren.

The family appreciates the love given by her caregivers, Fran Roberts and Darlene Williams. Shirlye was heavily involved in philanthropic institutions including, The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Hadassah, Greenfield Hebrew Academy, the Weber School and her beloved synagogue, Shearith Israel.

An online guestbook is available at The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions in her name can be made to The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, 1440 Spring St., Atlanta, GA 30309, Graveside services were held Sun., Sept. 8, 2013, 2 p.m. at Crest Lawn Memorial Park, 2000 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.

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