OCALA, Fla. – On Sept. 6, 1935, a wee babe made his way into the world in York, Maine, and trilled his first notes. He was the second of Madelyn (née Dagget) and Harrison Roberts’ two children, an Irish twin to his sister Marlene (Warren) born the year before. He passed away away Feb. 8, 2022.

 

During his senior year of high school in Wells, he declared his life ambition was to play Carnegie Hall. Following graduation Vaughn served in the Navy then Naval Reserves from 1954 to 1962. He was a virtuoso on the valve trombone, having started with trumpet in the third grade, adding all-things-brass to his substantial vocal prowess. He played and led jazz and big band clubs throughout Indiana and Ohio, the income supplementing his GI Bill at Indiana Tech, where he studied electrical engineering. One night, after playing a private Christmas party for a large department store, he lingered to flirt with one of the guests, Linda Alley, who eventually agreed to marry him and buy a 1965 special edition Ford Thunderbird together. Vaughn and Lynne made their home predominantly in Fort Wayne and Angola, Ind. where Vaughn remained active in the local jazz scene and where, on Sundays, he conducted choir in various churches. Fortunately he kept his engineering day job because, somewhere in those jazzy weekends, four children were conceived: Vonda (spouse Marc), Lane, Jason (spouse Lulu), and Julia. After 20 or so years Vaughn and Lynne discovered having four decent-enough children pushed the boundary of what they could hope to achieve together and they parted.

Fortunately for him, a bit later in life, the lovely Sharon Mahan (née Murphy) crossed his path, and a few tender dates—and some wicked line dancing—later, he was blessed to be married to his wonderful wife who survives him today, along with their precious dog, Prince. Shari and Vaughn’s life together was spent in devotion to their Lord Jesus and in a shared love of music. Lately he was a member of the orchestra at College Road Baptist Church in Ocala, Fla. where they lived. One particular project of note was Vaughn’s passion for giving back through his “Taps for Troops” enterprise. He spent his last decade visiting U.S. Military cemeteries playing “Taps” for every fallen soldier.

In addition to his beloved wife, Shari, Vaughn is survived by his faithful big sister, Marlene; his four children; his close friends and in-laws, Peggy and Gary Murphy; six grandchildren, Drake, Madeleine, Vasia, Keagan (spouse Jourdan), Gabriella, and Pablo; numerous beloved nieces and nephews; and countless cherished friends whom he loathed to have to leave.

Vaughn was a funny, witty, endearing man; a great lover of people, of music, and of animals. If you received a phone message from Vaughn, or as we call him, “Dad,” it likely began with a ditty and ended with a looonngg goodbye . . . goodbye, goodbye . . . Goodbye, dear Soul. Give a kiss to the ancestors and we’ll see you when we get there!

On March 12 a memorial service will be held at College Road Baptist Church in Ocala followed by interment at Bushnell National Cemetery.

Remembrances would be gratefully received by:

The Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org) or: the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County (www.chssteubencounty.org)