Elvin Vaughan remembered for service to city he loved

Published 11:16 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Deacon Elvin N. Vaughan, who died on Feb. 9, is being remembered best for his professionalism, his dedication to family and service to community. Born and reared in Franklin, the 94-year-old was the founder of Elvin Vaughan Funeral Home, which began on South Street in 1958.

Elvin N. Vaughan

Elvin N. Vaughan

A graduate of Norfolk State College, Vaughan served his country as a solder in the Army during World War II. Following that, he went to school to learn mortuary science before establishing the funeral home with the support of his wife, the late Ethel Marion Mutts Vaughan.

His life was not entirely about work.

Their daughter, Karen Norletta Vaughan Edmond, recalled that her father had served on the city school board during the 1970s and 1980s, and then on city council in the mid-1990s.

Service to his church, First Baptist Church in Franklin, earned him the rank of deacon emeritus.

Raystine Johnson-Ashburn of William M. Johnson and Sons Funeral Home said of him, “He was very dedicated to his profession. He was definitely a family man. After his wife passed, he showered all his love on Norletta, his daughter.”

“I’m just appreciative that our relationship grew in the latter years,” Johnson-Ashburn continued.

She remembered that Vaughan strived to serve the community in his latter years, and loved the people he was serving.

Barky Wright of Wright Funeral Home was no less respectful.

“He was a friend of my father’s and a friend of mine and my family,” said Wright. “I knew him all my life. He was a gentlemen. That’s the word you’ll hear about him — a gentleman. He was a good man.”

Haywood Riddick Jr., a staff member, said he had worked for Vaughan for about five to six years.

After he had retired from Hercules, Riddick said, Vaughan gave him the opportunity to work at the funeral home.

“He was a great man, a hard worker and had a passion for what he did,” said Riddick.

Norletta, as many people know her, said she was very little involved with her father’s work.

“The business was my father’s heart,” she said. “One of his primary concerns was serving the public and making sure that every family he came across was served with respect, was served with dignity. He cherished and honored the families.”

She added, “He was a pillar in the community. People respected him. People loved him.”

Although at one time he was nominated at one time to be mayor, a health issue compelled him to decline. After recovery, said Edmond, her father continued to be a part of city leadership.

“He had close relationships with various pillars of our community,” she said. “I could never be more proud of my father.”

The homegoing service is scheduled for today, Feb. 15, at noon in First Baptist Church. Burial will be in Southview Cemetery, Franklin.