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Kenneth Paul Vaughan

February 10, 1930 April 5, 2020
Kenneth Paul Vaughan
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Obituary for Kenneth Paul Vaughan

Kenneth Paul Vaughan

On Sunday afternoon, April 5, 2020, our heavenly Father welcomed home His son, Kenneth Paul Vaughan, reuniting him with his loving wife, Jeanette.

Mr. Vaughan’s 90 years of life is celebrated by his only child, Beverly Vaughan Acker, and her husband, Terry Acker; Mr. Vaughan’s dearest friend, Mike Renfrow, and his wife, Maribel; and many other beloved friends and far flung family. In addition to his daughter, Mr. Vaughan leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and cousins along with one surviving sister, Polly Templeton, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, and his two great granddaughters, Emmelia Rae Cliff and Lorelei Olivia Bowley.

Kenneth Vaughan’s earthly journey began in a little community called Midway. His parents, Paul and Eva (Greer) Vaughan, owned a general store where the community gathered for essential supplies and conversation. It was in this environment that Kenneth developed his love of people, a love that would become the foundational fabric of his life. He never met a stranger and he loved learning everyone’s story. The story of Kenneth Vaughan is the story of friendship and fellowship.

Kenneth attended Midway elementary where he first met his life long best friend Dr. Scott McCay. Their friendship continued strong for eight decades before Scott’s passing. Scott was the strong, quiet, intelligent one and Kenneth was the boisterous, street-smart bit of a rascal.

Destined to be a politician, Kenneth developed his people skills early, persuading the pretty girl to take his typing test or convincing a friend to play hooky from school. When he had a twinkle in his eye, he was hard to be denied. But his life was forever changed one sunny afternoon when he came to pick up a girl for a Saturday night date. The girl wasn’t quite ready so he sat waiting on the front porch with his date’s tomboy sister. That tomboy, Jeanette Strong Price, was his life long love. They married in 1951 and celebrated 54 years of joyous journeying before her passing in 2005.

Kenneth was a man of faith and church was a cornerstone of his entire life. Early on he worshipped at the Midway Church of Christ, then the Utica Church of Christ and, for the last 25 years, at North Brandon Church of Christ. The friendships developed in these church families were indescribably beautiful, strengthening his faith and warming his heart.

Kenneth farmed, raised cattle and developed property for timber. He had a short stint as a pipefitter but determined that wasn’t really his cup of tea. He grew interested in county government and became a candidate for county supervisor of District 3 in Claiborne County. He lost by only a handful of votes, but four years later he won. He had found his true calling.

Kenneth loved his community, his county and his constituents. His greatest joy was doing things for people. He helped build good roads where there were no roads, playgrounds where kids had nowhere to play and, most importantly, he listened to the needs of his community. Those were turbulent times in our state and country’s history, but somehow Kenneth crossed that divide with respect and faith in all people. He made life-long friendships with Alan Burrell, Robert Gage, Bill Moore, Darryl Flowers and so many others. He served as Claiborne County Supervisor for over 30 years.

In the late seventies Bev’s best friend and sister, Suzanne Prather, became Kenneth and Jeanette’s other daughter. The relationship deepened further when Kenneth and Jeanette became dear friends with Suzanne’s parents. But the true icing on the cake came with the birth of Suzanne’s boys, David and Brian. Kenneth and Jeanette became Gran and Gramps, a role they relished.

In 1996 Jeanette’s pancreatitis necessitated a move to be near doctors and hospitals. They left the family farm and moved to Rankin County. While most of their friends couldn’t believe it, Kenneth and Jeanette both thrived in their new “city” environment at the Gardens of Country Place. And again, new friendships blossomed—The Tolison’s, Bradshaw’s, Smith’s, Banes’ and so many others. And, it was here, at Country Place, that Kenneth and Jeanette developed a friendship and love for their neighbors, Mike and Maribel Renfrow.

Another of Kenneth’s great loves was traveling. He, Jeanette and Bev traveled throughout most of the 50 states, Canada and Western Europe. He loved the majesty of the Alaskan glaciers and Rocky Mountains but was also intrigued by the badlands and plains. His very favorite place was the Piazza San Marco in Venice Italy. One of the highlights of his life was sitting at the Piazza, listening to the orchestras, sipping a cappuccino AND people watching. He would turn his café chair with its back to the band and just watch the people dance and sway to the music across the grand plaza. That was his true love, the dance of humanity.

After Jeanette’s passing, Kenneth lived alone at Country Place but still visited his friends, old and new. He also enjoyed visits to his farm and the fellowship of his church family. One highlight of this time in Kenneth’s life was his partnership with a young farmer named Johnny Verell. Kenneth loved spending time with Johnny and was fascinated in how Johnny used technology to improve crop yields. Kenneth told Johnny, “If I was a little bit younger and you were a little bit older, there is no telling what we could accomplish together!”

In late 2016, after several falls and injuries, Kenneth moved to the Blake at Flowood. While these were not the happiest of his days, he still made beautiful friendships, particularly with his girls—Anita Davis, Suellen Gunn, Kathy Collums and Dorothy Cook—to name just a few. They called him a southern gentleman and the best dresser they had ever seen with handsomely starched shirts and khakis. He always loved the conversation of beautiful women----and the hugs!

In closing, it is my prayer that those of you that knew my father well will see him in these words, and that those of you who didn’t know him well will feel like you did.

AND there are important thank you’s that I must make. Thank you first to my husband, Terry Acker. It isn’t easy being the husband of an only child, who also happens to be a Daddy’s girl. Thank you to dear friend, Wayne Powell, for your nightly calls and knowing that you are “always only a phone call away.” Thank you to Jessica Lay for being the sister of Daddy’s later years. Your conversation, banter and love always brought a twinkle to his eyes. Thank you to Dr. Joe Ann Clark for your fellowship and wisdom. Thank you to Melba and Ray for your love and service. Thank you to Dodie, Tina, Catherine, Christi, Misti and Merita for being his “girls.” Thank you to Dr. Sulser for 40 years of service as not only his physician but also as a part of our family. I, Bev, could not have done it without you Dr. Sulser. Thank you to Darrell Flowers for stepping into the breach when there wasn’t someone who could help. Thank you to Kathy Collums, Daddy’s physical therapist, for keeping his body AND spirits strong. Thank you to Scott (Ruble) for being the young man he admired and loved. Thank you to the staff of The Blake who thought he was “the dream Grandpa.” Thank you to Kizzy Harden who happened to be the caregiver of his final hours. Thank you to Carolyn Taylor for being his primary caregiver these last three years. Carolyn, you boosted his spirits, dried his tears, calmed his fears, tolerated his tantrums, starched his shirts and always found a way to make him smile.

And, lastly, but most importantly, thank you to Mike and Maribel Renfrow. There really aren’t words to explain what a blessing and gift Mike has been to my Dad, Terry and I. Thank you Mike for being a brother, a son, a friend, a confidant, a comforter and so much more. You have been on the frontlines of care and support for my Dad; and, for the past 25 years you have brought nothing but joy into his life. Thank you, Maribel, for loving my Dad and supporting Mike in all his efforts on my Dad’s behalf. There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family. Those are the ones that leave footprints on your heart.

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Events

Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details

Location

Utica City Cemetery Final Resting Place

Main Street
Utica, MS 39175

Main Street Utica 39175 MS
United States
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