Robert L. "(Bob)" Vaughn
1963 - 2020
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10/10/1963 - 4/27/2020
"Hey Kid" said the slight man, while taking off his worn Harley leather jacket and hanging it from the same nail that's been rusting into the post of the porch since 1996. The closer you get to the garage, the more you can smell exhaust and the hint of something that was definitely more than a regular cigarette. He disappears behind the open hood of his burgundy, late 70's LeSabre, but even through that American steel you can clearly hear the flint strike of his 99 cent gas station lighter. You round the front bumper and see that he's now elbow deep, somewhere between the radiator and the crank case, with a Basic cigarette barely hanging on to the corner of his mouth. You could ask what he's working on, but between how quickly his projects change, the dulcet tones of Alanis Morissette, and the four letter glitter he's currently throwing in the air over a busted knuckle, you opt to let him be the one to choose the topic.
When the people that knew and loved Bob close their eyes, some version of this story comes to mind. If his hand wasn't holding a wrench, it was holding his chin while he absently considered what might be causing 'that weird noise' someone was reenacting for him. When the news came, a mere 3 weeks ago, that he had extremely aggressive cancer, that same mechanical mind set itself to work. After exhausting all possible solutions and accepting that this was not a problem he could fix, he gave his family the final gift of allowing us to care for him in his last days. Not one to linger, Bob waited just long enough for his loved ones to each have a chance to spend time with him, exchange jabs and insults, and even watch one last car show on TV, before slipping away quietly onto a project we're all not quite allowed to see yet.
Bob is dearly missed by his 4 brat kids that he affectionately referred to as "Oops" (Kinzie Gessler), "Whoops" (Kate Wolbers, Children; Audrie, Bryleigh, McKenna), "Not Again" (Lauren Vaughn, Children; Finnley, Easton), and "Oh Shit" (Bobby Vaughn); mother Kay Estes; sister "Deta" (Lisa, husband Jerry Henderson), and brother Joe Estes. He is preceded in rest by his father, Arthur Vaughn, an equally stubborn and mechanical man. The news of his passing has especially effected the makers of Slim Jim beef sticks, who relied on his purchase and distribution of the snack to his 4 kids, and then to his 5 grand kids. We've heard rumor that they will need to scale back production to compensate for the decrease in sales, so please consider picking up a few on your next visit to speedway.
Bob's family will honor him with a private ceremony. Due to the unexpected nature of Bob's passing, the family asks you to consider a contribution to his memorial fund to help cover expenses, in lieu of other gifts. If you are unable to contribute financially, we'd love to hear your favorite story.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ionia Sentinel on May 1, 2020.
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May 1, 2020
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