Jeanne Wilson Vaughan
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Jeanne Wilson Vaughan

Lafayette - Jeanne Wilson Vaughan, 92, passed away Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Lafayette, IN. Born and raised in Chicago, IL. Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Jeannette Wilson, sister Lillian Creno, husband, Jack N Vaughan and son, Thomas W Vaughan.

Jeanne graduated from Morgan Park High School. During that time, she represented the Lake Shore Club in Water Ballet and swimming. She and her sister, Lillian, were National Duo Water Ballet Champions two years in a row.

Jeanne attended Northwestern University for one year, where she became a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. She was then recruited to Purdue University and their Swim Team Coach, Richard Papenguth. Jeanne earned her Bachelor of Science Degree and holds the honor of first female swimmer at Purdue.

During Jeanne's time at Purdue, she held 10 American Records and was elected to the All-American Swim Team four years in a row, in all breaststroke events and medley relays. She went on to win the United States Olympic trials in Detroit, MI and then on to represent the United States in the 1948 Olympics in London, England.

Jeanne was voted "Best Looking Athlete" in the 1948 Olympics. She was also elected the Purdue Year Book (Debris) Queen. The Associate Press announced, "Beautiful Mermaid Marries" when she married Lafayette native, Jack N. Vaughan, whom she met at the Lafayette Country Club where she was a lifeguard during college. As a model, she appeared in Life Magazine, Colliers, Esquire, Photography, and others. Jeanne was voted Mrs. Indiana in 1953.

In the 1960's, Jean started, organized, and coached 7th and 8th grade girls at St. Mary's School to play volleyball. She organized an all school city volleyball tournament. St Mary's 7th and 8th grade team won that city tournament three years in a row. She even made time to become a Boy Scout Leader and Brownie Leader.

In 1972, with the help of Mary Ellen Crose, they started the Central Catholic Woman's Swim Team. Since 1972, Jeanne annually sponsored the Most Valuable Swimmer Award at Central Catholic. For over 50 years, she has also annually sponsored the Richard Papenguth Award for the Most Outstanding Swimmer on the Lafayette Country Club Swim Team.

In 1998, Jeanne was elected into the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame. She received her 65-year pin from Kappa Kappa Gamma and served on the Purdue Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board. Jeanne was a member of St. Mary's Cathedral, Delta Theta Tau, and the Lafayette Country Club.

Jeanne enjoyed boating, waterskiing, and entertaining on Lake Freeman. She played golf, and was on a bowling league, even bowling a perfect game. Her greatest enjoyment came from watching her children, grandchildren, and their friends play sports.

She is survived by three children, Jack W., Charleston WV, Vint W., and Jeanne V. Walker, Gainesville, GA. Grandchildren, Jack and Tracey Vaughan, Tom and Nicholas Vaughan, Jeanne Walker Rains and Steve Walker. Two great grandchildren, James and Jeanne Rains.

Paul Bearers are, grandchildren, Thomas and Nick Vaughan, Jack Vaughan, Steve Walker. Son in law, James Rains, nephew, Grant Creno, great nephew, Charles Vaughan and James Korty.

In lieu of flowers, family requests memorial contributions to Matthew 25 Share and Care Soup Kitchen, St. Ann's Church and Shrine, 612 Wabash Avenue, Lafayette, IN 47905.

Visitation will be from 9:30 am until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am on Saturday at St. Mary Cathedral, 1207 Columbia Street, Lafayette. Interment will be at St. Mary Cemetery. You may sign the guest book and leave memories at www.soller-baker.com.





Published in Journal & Courier on Apr. 19, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
APR
21
Visitation
09:30 - 10:30 AM
APR
21
Mass of Christian Burial
10:30 AM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Soller-Baker Funeral Homes & Crematory
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34 entries
September 6, 2020
I met Jeanne when she became a hairdressing client of mine in the mid-1980's. Her daughter introduced us and brought her to see me on Jeanne's visits to Georgia. My impression was that she was a lovely classy lady who cherished her family and she made a wonderful client. We spent a few hours together on each visit so eventually I learned of Jeanne's remarkable life in the water and her sharp dry wit on land.
I am saddened to find she has passed two years late.
I hope her extended family and friends have found comfort in her memory.
bruce king
April 29, 2018
Sending best wishes to all of the Vaughan family!
As one of those blessed enough to have grown up in the Highland Park neighborhood, I smile to think of many joyful childhood memories, and Mrs. Vaughan was a "larger than life"character in them. Soda bottle fridge, tandem bicycle, play house, kick soccer in the street, beautiful pictures of Mrs. Vaughan in Olympic and Mrs. Indiana attire. Always a beautiful, gracious presence. May you all be blessed with many shared joyful memories!
Jody Wolford-Tucker
April 26, 2018
Dear Family ,So sad to read of your mother's passing.
I loved this sweet lady. She was so kind and caring
Faye Merkel
April 24, 2018
Our prayers go out for your family.
What a wonderful lady.
Jayne Flynn
April 22, 2018
I was telling Suzy how gracious your mom was to me whenever I'd visit from Texas. She made sure I was included with all the cousins when we came for Kelly's wedding. She was such a classy and lovely woman. I loved both your mom & dad. Wish I could have seen them and y'all more over the years! Love you and praying you feels God's comfort.
Eileen Vaughan Guthrie
Family
April 22, 2018
So sorry to hear about the passing of this wonderful lady. Jeane was such a good friend to my mother and our family. Many great memories on Central Street focused around Purdue football games and the Vaughn family. My prayers are with the family as you deal with your loss.
Scott Waddell
Friend
April 22, 2018
So sorry for this terrible loss to your family! What a beautiful lady and wonderful soul!
May the anguish of your loss be replaced with a peaceful acceptance and precious warm memories as soon as is humanly possible! Terry Maddox
Terry Maddox
Friend
April 22, 2018
One of the nicest and the classiest lady I have ever met, She will truly be missed by everyone that knew her. Jack and Jeanne are together again I am sure. Two of the finest people I have ever met.
Robert Guinnup
Friend
April 22, 2018
So sorry about your loss. Your mom and your dad had a huge influence in my life. I spent a lot of days hanging out at the house, because there was always something going on. Together we can all admit, what a ride we had.
Mike Force
Neighbor
April 21, 2018
Wow - thinking about your mom. What a lady - what an amazing person. Peace to you all. She sleeps tonight.
Kathy Onorato
Acquaintance
April 21, 2018
Thinking of the family at this difficult time. Take comfort your memories and the wonderful life she had.

Love,
Ellen Vaughan and Lauren Reilly Vaughan
Ellen Vaughan
April 21, 2018
I grew up spending many summer days at LCC and many summer nights on Central St with Tommy and Vint. Jeanne Vaughan was practically a second mom to me for many years of my youth. What a treasure she was. Always welcoming and warm. My condolences to the Vaughan family.
David Smith
April 21, 2018
A beautiful, kind and fun lady - I loved talking with her. God Bless her!
Linda Daulton Wilkinson
April 20, 2018
My condolences to the Vaughans.

So many good memories of her ... watching over our pickup basketball games from the kitchen window, carpooling us to winter swim practice at Purdue; mediating turf battles on the bicycle bridge. She was a matriarch of the neighborhood.
Bob MacDonald
April 20, 2018
Your mom was so memorable. Beautiful inside and out. She always encouraged me in my swimming.

http://www.lafayettecountryclub.net/swim-team

I remember receiving the Papenguth award at LCC, I believe the first year it came out. Mrs. Vaughan was so gracious to me. I will never forget her.

Love to the Vaughan family. In my thoughts and prayers.

Den Snyder
Debra Snyder
Friend
April 20, 2018
My mom, Patricia Freeman (Preston), a cousin of Jack Vaughan, idolized Jeanne. I grew up hearing stories of Jeanne's athletics and swimming history, and her beauty and class. When they were young, my mom asked her to come to Crawfordsville to inspire and help teach her own swimmers when she was a lifeguard/swim teacher, and of course Jeanne came. Wishing the best to my Vaughan cousins in this time. What a remarkable blessing you had with Jeanne in your lives. I wish I had known her! I work with Olympic swimmers and divers and am sharing her story with them!
John Preston
Family
April 19, 2018
Mrs. Vaughan's was one of the best-lived lives I've ever known of. I believe Colleen, her niece, admired her and followed her example with great love. I wish the family all the best in this time of sorrow.
Leda Neale
April 19, 2018
Cheryl Breedlove
April 19, 2018
Cheryl Breedlove
April 19, 2018
Tom and Nick,
Our sincerest sympathy on the loss of "Muddy". Our hearts and prayers go out to you. May you find peace in your memories.
Debbie & Jim
Debbie Elsner
April 19, 2018
Jack, as you grieve know that I'm remembering you and your family and honoring the memory of your beautiful mother. My sincere condolence and sympathy, Susie Homrig
April 19, 2018
Jack, Vint and Jeanne, we loved growing up in the shadow of your Mom. I'm sorry for your loss.
Jill Force
Jill Force
Friend
April 19, 2018
We are so sorry to hear of her passing.

Love and Hugs
The Groves Family
Amye Groves
Friend
April 19, 2018
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April 19, 2018
I was one of those championship volleyball teams. She was a class lady and will be missed greatly. May God hold her in the palm of His hand. God bless you Jack, Vint, Jeanne and your families.
Sincerely,
Eileen
Eileen Hession Weiss
April 19, 2018
My thoughts & prayers are with you all!
Ginger Brooks
Friend
April 19, 2018
She left a loving legacy to her family, friends and many young women of faith, hope and perseverance. Im lucky to have been in the first volleyball team started at St. Marys Cathedral School. We learned a lot about sportsmanship and etiquette from Mes. Vaughan.
The Vaughan family and their children had many friendship ties with our family from school, sports and the LCC. We continue to send our heartfelt sympathy to our friends, Jeanne, Jack, Vint and their families.
God Bless,
The Onorato Family
Susan Onorato-Blue
Friend
April 19, 2018
Vint,

I am sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. Janet and my thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family.
Jeff Corbin
April 19, 2018
Joseph Trombello
April 19, 2018
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April 19, 2018
What a beautiful inspiring patriarch and a wonderful friend I will miss spending time playing backgammon with her. She will always be in my heart. Love to the family.
Donna Lauderdale
April 19, 2018
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
WILLIAM PLATT
April 19, 2018
My thoughts and prayers to the Vaughn family.
How blessed we were with wonderful parents.
Tim McCormick
April 18, 2018
Muddy was a gift from heaven and a real American hero. Im so lucky to have known her the last 40 years. She was an inspiration to me in all athletic endeavors and her positive mental outlook on life. I will never forget her. May her memory live on forever in the hearts of her family and friends. RIP
Tom Vaughan
Family
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