Gilbert Vaughan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After a 25 year fight with cancer, Gilbert Cherry Vaughan lost his battle on Sunday, May 16, 2010 and moved on to be with his Lord and Saviour. Born in Hertford County on February 13, 1928 to Vernon Linwood Vaughan and Parthenia Teaster Vaughan, he was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, a sister, Earlene; and a brother, Merle Vaughan. Gilbert was married to his high school sweetheart, Sylvia Harrell for 62 years and enjoyed the partnership they had in serving the world in their volunteer efforts, and the love they had for their family. Mr. Vaughan is survived by his devoted wife, Sylvia Harrell Vaughan; one daughter, Kay Vaughan Byrd and husband, Charles Judson Byrd of Ahoskie; one son, Gilbert C. Vaughan, Jr. and wife, Carole Leonard Vaughan of Summerfield, NC; a sister, Doris Cayton of Laurel, MD; three grandchildren, Melanie Byrd Byrum and husband, Lee of Ahoskie, Jennifer Byrd and Guido Geurts of Greenville, and Jennifer Vaughan Davis and husband Andy of Nashville, TN; four great grandchildren, Lanie Lee Byrum of Ahoskie, and Marit, Wynne, and Ellie Davis of Nashville, TN; and many nieces and nephews. Gilbert Vaughan will be remembered for his love of life and the dedication he had to serving the people of his community and beyond, especially the children. His service to his community earned his many awards. “Mr. Gilbert”, as so many young people called him, loved volunteering wherever he was needed. The Kiwanis Key Clubbers, at Ridgecroft School, touched his heart in many ways and he loved meeting with them and helping with their fundraisers. He loved joining forces with his daughter, Kay, in volunteering with the Girl Scouts. He became a registered Girl Scout when she started a troop in 1982 and ended up being a Cookie Cupboard chair for over 20 years. He always wanted to be involved in his grandchildren’s adventures in life and was always right there whenever called upon. He loved sharing his love of sports with his son, Gil, Jr., with fishing, hunting, baseball, and golf, at every chance he had. After Gil moved away from the area, he always looked forward to hunting season when he could spend quality time with his son. While he was able, he took every chance he could get to join his son and family to sit and fish on the pond and to enjoy the outdoors. Mr. Vaughan graduated from Ahoskie High School in 1945 and served in WWII with the Army and Merchant Marines before finding his career in the printing business. He worked with the Roanoke Beacon and Roanoke Chowan News Herald for 35 years. Mr. Vaughan was involved in many area civic organizations and was a member of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie for more than 50 years. His civic relationships have included coaching Pee Wee, Little League, and Pony League baseball teams, the Ahoskie Volunteer Rescue Squad and Volunteer Fire Department, Girl Scouts, Salvation Army, and the Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis was one of his passions which earned him the Distinguished Kiwanian Award many times and Distinguished Lt. Governor four times. He was also honored with the Tablet of Honor and the Carl B. Hyatt Awards. He was so proud that both his children became Kiwanians and shared his love of giving to the children. Traveling to conventions and meeting new people expanded his friendships with members of Kiwanis. Some of those people became like his family and he cherished sharing their company every chance he got. As an active member of the Salvation Army, Gilbert Vaughan served on the Board and chaired the activities in Hertford County. He coordinated activities such as organizing and manning a food bank at a local church and running the canteen for the recent floods. He worked hand in hand with FEMA, the Red Cross and the Interfaith Council to make sure everyone was covered during the flood and thereafter. He answered people’s cries for help and coordinated their aid. For many years, he oversaw the Salvation Army’s local Christmas bell ringing and the distribution of food, clothing, and toys for those in need. Because of his selfless work, Mr. Vaughan received the Others Award, the highest award given to a volunteer in the Salvation Army; and was also honored as a Lifetime Member on January 13th, of this year. The Ahoskie Rotary Club honored him with their prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award for his outstanding community efforts. Gilbert Vaughan was an avid outdoorsman and was instrumental in developing the Roanoke-Chowan Wildlife Club at Hare’s Mill where he served in various capacities on the board. He was recently given Lifetime Membership in the Potecasi Creek Hunt Club. Known as “Six-Shooter” by his fellow club members, he enjoyed sitting in his chair and listening to the “hunt”. His fellow club members loved to listen to his hunting stories and to his frequent jokes. Gilbert’s love of life not only extended to humans but to the neighborhood “pet” birds and squirrels which could often be seen at the door “asking” for treats or eating out of his hand. The family will receive friends at Garrett-Jones Funeral Home from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, and other times at the home. A celebration of life memorial service will be conducted at First Baptist Church of Ahoskie on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Daniel Glaze officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Carolina’s District Kiwanis Foundation, c/o Stan Perry, CDKF Sec/Tres., PMB 321, 10120 Two Notch Rd., STE 2, Columbia, SC, 29223; the Salvation Army, c/o Dr. Bonnie Revelle, Murfreesboro, NC, 27855; or to University Health Systems Hospice Care, POB 272, Ahoskie, NC, 27910. Family and friends may send condolences and sign the online guestbook by visiting