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Charlsie Vaughn Stearly

1925 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Charlsie Vaughn Stearly Obituary
Charlsie Vaughn Stearly

Charlsie Vaughn Stearly, a registered nurse for 50 years, mother of five, and resident of Branford, Connecticut died peacefully July 25th, surrounded by her children at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. She was 93.

Charlsie Vaughn was born February 25, 1925 in the town of Pansy in Harlan County, Kentucky. She grew up with her mother and sister, Athelene, during a time of labor unrest. When Charlsie was six her father, Edward Vaughn, was shot and killed trying to arrest strikebreakers stealing from local coalmines.

Charlsie's mother Mary Elizabeth Fee moved often, opening general stores and boarding houses to support the family. During World War II, she worked at the top secret Oak Ridge Tennessee facility as an "Atomic Girl" helping to develop the atom bomb.

Charlsie attended the Pine Mountain Settlement School for her high school years and studied nursing with Grace Rood, a former medical missionary. They practiced nursing in the rural local community. Whenever women went into labor, Charlsie would saddle up her horse, joining other students and Ms. Rood, and ride over mountain trails to assist in the deliveries. The school's "learn by doing" philosophy was considered a pioneering approach in progressive education for the people of Appalachia and it had a lifelong impact on Charlsie.

After graduation Charlsie attended Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, Johns Hopkins, and Louisville General Hospital where she received her nursing degree in 1947. She moved to Hartford, Connecticut to work at the Institute of Living where she met her first husband Nicholas George. They married in 1948 and later moved to Columbia, Missouri where their first two children Tanya and Evan were born. Charlsie worked as a registered nurse at Allen Memorial Hospital while her husband completed his journalism degree at the University of Missouri.

The family moved to Waterloo, Iowa in 1952 where their next two children Chris and Niki were born, and in 1959 to Verona, New Jersey where Gregory was born. In 1963 they moved to Montclair where they stayed for the next 17 years.

Wherever the family lived, Charlsie worked as a nurse. She always said she was happiest when helping people. In Montclair she worked at Mountainside Hospital and her husband, Nicholas George, was Managing Editor at ABC Radio News in New York City.

They divorced in 1975 and Charlsie later married Wilson "Bill" Stearly, of Montclair, New Jersey, who had three daughters from a previous marriage; Betsy, Sally and Annie.

Charlsie and Bill moved to Branford, Connecticut in 1980 where she continued nursing at Yale New Haven Hospital. As a dedicated member of Trinity Episcopal Church she organized the pastoral care meal delivery program. "Like a great nurse and devoted mother," Reverend Gracen said, "Charlsie made sure everyone was fed."

The couple eventually moved to Evergreen Woods in North Branford where Bill died in 2003. Charlsie is survived by her five children, 13 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Gifts in her memory can be made to The Pine Mountain Settlement School, 36 Highway 510, Bledsoe, KY 40810.
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