We lost a larger than life father, grandfather, brother and uncle on May 7, 2020. Lloyd (Lorne) Verne Vaughan, born April 21, 1938, left this world with a legacy of love, kindness, and a life well lived. He was born in Port Burwell, Ontario to Lauretta and Lloyd Verne Vaughan. He is survived by his wife and love of his life, Dorothy Louise Vaughan (nee Sim), sister Beverly Williams (Ray) and his children Paul (Heather), Laurie, Keven (Brigitte), Nina (Leon), his beloved grandchildren Marc-Andre, Hannah, Megan, Allison and one great grandchild, Travis. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Lauretta Parks.
Dad had a wicked sense of humour and is famous for his elaborate jokes. He was the life of every party and was the kind of guy you wanted to sit down and have a beer with. He told the best stories, and could make anything funny. He had a huge heart, was a man of his word, and he’d give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it. He loved his family and adored his wife of 59 years. He always told us that meeting and marrying Mom was the luckiest thing that ever happened to him.
Dad joined the military in 1954 under the Soldier Apprentice Plan, which trained 16 year old young men through a two year program. Family lore has it that his mom and dad signed the papers to allow him to enter this program as they were worried about his “wild nature” and thought the army would be good for him.
Dad had a rocky start, missing the train to Winnipeg to start his basic training. Despite always being in trouble as a young soldier, he went on to a stellar and well-respected career of 37 years serving our country in Canada and overseas. Dad rose through the ranks and in 1986 he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer, Sergeant Major Instructor of Gunnery. In 1988, he was commissioned to the rank of Captain. Dad was the kind of leader who led by example and never asked his troops to do anything he wouldn’t be willing to do himself. He received many honours, medals and awards, including several meritorious service awards. He served proudly and with great dedication. Mom accompanied Dad on every one of his postings, and she did remind him occasionally that regardless of what rank he was, she was always going to be one higher.
After his retirement from the military, Dad devoted himself to his community, performing untold hours of volunteer work. He was a true champion of the underdog and was always ready to help anyone who needed it. He became a Mason and belonged to Charity Lodge #67, serving many Grand Lodge and Scottish Rite offices. He was a 33rd degree Mason and the recipient of the Royal Order of Scotland in 2010.
Although Dad spent the last 20 years of his life fighting Parkinson’s Disease, and recently Covid-19, he did not allow himself to be defined by that fight. He always told us kids “you have to play the hand you’re dealt”, and he lived by those words. He never lost his sense of humour. Despite the ravages of Parkinson’s, he continued to live his life with dignity, grace and kindness. Someone once asked Dad what he would change if he could live his life over again and he said “I would change nothing”. That is a life well lived.
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