Donald W. Vaughn, 73, of Belleville, IL, born Thursday, April 24, 1947, in Hannibal, MO, passed away Sunday, August 9, 2020 at John Cochran VA Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Don worked as a Financial Advisor. He was a member of the Centreville Mens Club, American Legion Post #784 Cahokia, and a Softball Coach. He was a United States Marine Veteran serving in the Vietnam War. His retirement consisted of spending time with his pride and joy, his beloved grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his:
- 3 sons
- Scott Vaughn
- Erik Vaughn
- Jake Vaughn
- Parents: Rev. Joseph V. and Audrey J., nee Feith, Vaughn
Surviving are his:
- Wife: Pamela C., nee Hebert, Vaughn of Belleville, IL
- Raven Vaughn of Kansas City, MO
- Angela (Eric) Hanvey of Belleville, IL
- 2 brothers
- Daniel Vaughn of Nashville, TN
- David Vaughn of Fairview Heights, IL
- 2 sisters
- Judith (Rev. Terry) Russell of Collinsville, IL
- Catherine Vaughn of Mesa, AZ
- 5 grandchildren
- Hannah Vaughn
- Baron Vaughn
- Harper Hanvey
- Norah Hanvey
- Decker Hanvey
- Bonus granddaughter: Josephine Fenton
- Dear nieces and nephews
Visitation: Visitation from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, IL.
Funeral: Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 am, Friday, August 14, 2020 at Kurrus Funeral Home, with Reverend Terry Russell officiating. Interment will follow at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL.
Don and I grew up together in Parkfield Terrace and went to Cahokia High school. Lost track of each other after high school and actually served in the Marine Corps at the same time. Don will be missed.
As a kid growing up in Cahokia and playing ball Two names would always come up would come up while talking baseball Pat Barrett hitting and Don Vaughn defense. Don was one of best players I ever played with.I’m sorry for your lost, Regards Gary L, Howard retired Scout St, Louis Cardinals.
I met Don years back when I was bartending at the Cat & Fiddle and he, Pam and little Angela would come in for fish on a regular basis. Their banter and conversation was so entertaining! My life will be that much emptier without the constant humor that Don shared via social media world. Even in times of struggle he was always generating these cute sidebar twists to the scenario. He made me laugh a lot. He exemplified a wonderful loving family man and he put them first always. I love that most about him. Rest In Peace Don and I will
Pray for Gods presence to hold up his family during this difficult time.
Don was a brother Marine and Brother-in-Arms. He was a valued member of Marine Medium Helicopter squadron (HMM)- 161. He served in the flight equipment section, and also flew as a machine gunner in Vietnam. He was twice decorated with the Bronze Star (Single Mission) Air Medal for heroism in flight, in addition to many other decorations. He had a riotous sense of humor, and leaves his Marine brothers will myriad memories of times long past. He was a character, and he had character. We will miss him at the 161 reunions. Condolences to all of Don’s surviving family members. Semper Fidelis.
Good stuff Ron. We were in Vietnam at the same time.
Please accept my condolences on Dons passing. I was with him in N.C. and Viet Nam. He was quite the guy.
Don was a decorated marine and a brother at arms. I served with him in HMM-161 in Quang Tri South Vietnam. He will be missed. Rest in Peace Don.
I was in Quang Tri too from June ’68-July’69 with Third Shore Party.
Don Vaughn was one of the Good Guys.
I met him when I transferred from CONUS to HMM-161 in late 1968.
God bless you Don.
Ed “Frenchy” LeCouteur
Judy, so sorry for your loss.
I flew with Don as a member of Marine Medium Helicopter squadron (HMM)- 161. Rest in peace brother.
I arrived to HMM161 in January on 1970 and I don’t know if Don rotated from HMM161 by then. He was a Brother-In-Arms. I never had the pleasure of meeting Don or maybe my 50 years since leaving Nam has ruined my memory. But from all these comments I am quite sure I would have remembered him. I Pray for his family and Rest In Peace brother.
We lived next door to Don & Pam for a least the last 15 years. It was always nice to see Don sitting out in the back yard watching his grandkids play….. We always felt safe knowing that Don was watching over what went our in our little abode!!!….. A GREAT neighbor that will be truly missed??….
My condolences to you, Pam and the rest of the family. I went to school with Don from Chenot grade school all the way through high school. I wish we could have reconnected at one of the little reunions that come up. I seems that after graduating from high school that Don, Joe Vavak and Pat Barrett and I were all in the Marine Corps and all of us were in Vietnam at about the same time. What war stories we could share. Don’s wit and humor will be sorely missed. I apologize for being able to be there tonight, but we have a new grandson and a granddaughter that has an immune deficiency. Rest in Peace and Semper Fi, Jarhead. God bless you and your family.
I was saddened to recently learn of Don’s passing. I knew him for only a few minutes, but it was a most significant time in my life and the life of three other Marines on June 14th, 1968. We were on a hillside in Vietnam south west of Khe Sahn Combat Base. We were engaged in a running gun battle with a large number of enemy soldiers when Don and his crew aboard a CH-46 helicopter from HMM 161 swooped down into the fire fight, guns blazing. Later I learned that it was Don who manned a side door .50 caliber machine gun. His sustained and accurate fire despite enemy rounds puncturing the “beer can” metal sides (as Don would call it) of the plane around him that provided the cover we needed to get on board. It was his continued attention to the targets below as we lifted off that allowed for our continued assent and return to base. I never got to talk to him back then, and only recently learned of his whereabouts. I was looking forward to meeting him in person for the first time since that day, at the May HMM-161 reunion, but it was cancelled. It’s been well over 50 years, and I want all to know that the Marines I served with on that day have never forgotten Don and the resolve of the crew with whom he served. We knew Don by his action on that day: brave, resolute, professional – a Marine. May he rest in God’s love. Semper fi
This is a picture of the HMM-161 CH-46 that Don flew when he and his crew extracted us on June 14, 1968.
Barry Babin gave a good account of Don’s action on June 14 1968, but I would like to add that when I directed the chopper in with an air panel a machine gun position opened up on me. I fell backwards and had tracer rounds going across my chest. I felt that I would never make it to the chopper, then the firing stopped in time for me to get up and be the last man in. I didn’t know who knocked out the machine gun, but since most of us in the team were out of ammo I figured it was the side gunner on the CH46. 50 years later I learned the gunners name was Don Vaughn. I owe my life to him, and the crew of that chopper that remained on the ground under heavy fire until I was able to board.
The first time I met Don was when we were on a party line together in Parkfield Terrace. I couldn’t use the phone because one of his siblings was talking for a long time so I said something like, “get off the phone”. Next thing I knew Don was at my door giving me an earful about being rude. Then he married Pam and I married John and we became the best of couple friends. They had a lot of heartache in their life and I remember it well. I hadn’t seen them in a while. Pam did come to my mother’s funeral five years ago. Don was a good guy. I’m sure he will be sorely missed. Love to the family.