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Cora M. Vaughn

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Cora M. Vaughn Obituary
Vaughn, Cora M. Cora M. Vaughn, a trailblazer, tenacious legal advocate and noted businesswoman, made her transition on Friday, March 28, 2014 at her home in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by loving family. She was 65. Born of humble beginnings in Gary, Indiana, Cora never allowed life to define her; she defined life and charted her own course. She was a loving mother and wife, a great friend, mentor and role model. Mrs. Vaughn graduated from the University of Washington in 1974 with a degree in journalism. She was the first editor of the Seattle Medium Newspaper and set the tone for its editorial policy. She was a nationally acclaimed journalist who helped the Seattle Medium win many awards. While still at the medium, she provided editorial and writing tutoring to African American law students attending University of Washington School of Law, helping many of them to bass the state bar exam. She graduated first in her class from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, in 1977 and returned to Gary, Indiana where she practiced law for over 20 years. Mrs. Vaughn was an outspoken and steely-advocate who shattered racial and gender barriers in the legal profession. She represented the Teamsters Local 703 before opening her law firm, Vaughn & Associates, where she represented local municipalities and obtained judgments for disenfranchised individuals. Throughout her career, Mrs. Vaughn was an active and dedicated member of the National Bar Association and served as the first woman Chair of its Young Lawyers Division from 1985-1986. In 2000, Mrs. Vaughn retired from her law practice and moved to South Africa where she and her husband, Roger Scott, established and operated two guest houses. Featured in the 2008 documentary, Blacks Without Borders, Mrs. Vaughn stated, "I love living in South Africa. Besides being beautiful, scenic, as close to the Garden of Eden you will get on this Earth, it is progressive." Mrs. Vaughn adopted South Africa as her own and continued her advocacy for the underserved by creating jobs for Black South Africans in her business ventures the inns and also a restaurant she and her husband owned with other American ex-pats. Additionally, she encouraged visitors to patronize local Black South African tour guides and businesses; and served as an advocate for a local children's orphanage. Mrs. Vaughn will be remembered by those she touched as someone who used her life as a tool to affect change in the lives of people in many significant ways. She is survived by her husband of 21 years, Roger Scott; three daughters, Vazantha Meyers, Carmen Vaughn, and Kenyanna (Kameno) Bell; five grandchildren, Pryce Johnson, Rani Vaughn, Alyssa, Nia and Maya Bell; her mother-in-law, Hazel Scott; seven siblings, Algia (Mary) Lee Sr., Shirley Vann, Willie Vann Jr., Barbara Vann, Hildred (Francis) Vann, Cornelius Vann and Holden Vann; numerous nieces and nephews and innumerable beloved friends. Mrs. Vaughn was predeceased by her parents, Georgia Lee and Will Vann Sr. and siblings, Adley Berry (Conway) Vann, Eddie (Lillie) Hampton, William (Dehay) Bogan, Curly Mae Vann, Esther Brooks and Vernice Vann. Family and friends in South Africa will celebrate Mrs. Vaughn's life with a memorial service on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 at 70 Dennis Road, Athol. There will be a memorial service in the United States, which will be announced at a later time. The family asks that in lieu of sending flowers, donations be made to the , P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or online at www.cancer.org.
Published in the Post Tribune on Apr. 4, 2014
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