VAUGHAN, Joe Franklin, On June 27, 2021, three days after his 92nd birthday, Reverend Joe Franklin Vaughan passed peacefully into heaven. His earthly life complete, he met his Lord, whom he faithfully served and worshiped his entire life. His passing also reunited him with his beloved wife of 67 years, Juanita Hillhouse "Skeet" Vaughan, who died on October 26, 2020. In the months after Skeet's passing, Joe was heartbroken without his lifelong partner. Yet, he met this challenge as he did everything in his life, with grace, dignity and a deep abiding belief in God's will.
Joe was born on June 24, 1929, to George and Louise Lowe Vaughan of Union, South Carolina. He graduated from Union High School, North Greenville College and Limestone College, all of South Carolina, as well as Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia.
Joe's professional and personal life was a continuous journey of service to others. He was an Associate Pastor and Pastor for churches in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 1968, Joe, Skeet and their son, Joel, moved to Richmond, Virginia and never left. He worked for the Virginia Baptist Board for 25 years; during most of that time, he served as the Director of Discipleship Training. While he retired from the Virginia Baptist Board, he never retired from his pastoral calling. Joe spent many of his retirement Sundays travelling to other Baptist churches throughout Virginia to preach so that each congregation was able to continue worshiping together. He also served as interim pastor for several other churches. For 18 years, Joe comforted patients and family members as a Volunteer Chaplain at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Beyond his official duties as a minister, Joe was a loving and cherished friend to so many, especially in their times of need. His Southern charm, genteel voice and compassionate heart endeared him to all those fortunate to have known him.
In addition to his wife and parents; Joe was predeceased by his sister, Nell Vaughan of Union, South Carolina. He is survived by his son, Joel Wesson Vaughan (Debbie) and his precious granddaughter, Katie, all of Raleigh, North Carolina; brother, Jim Vaughan of Union, South Carolina; and niece, Jane Vaughan of Greenville, South Carolina.
A celebration of Joe's life will be held at Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia on July 16, 2021, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Thornwell Home for Children, 302 South Broad Street, Clinton, South Carolina 29235.
Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Jul. 11, 2021.
While in seminary, Joe chose me to be his first intern at the Virginia Baptist General Board. He was the Director of Discipleship Training for Virginia Baptists for many years. This gave me the opportunity to spend my last year in school living in Richmond where I grew up. During my time with him my father passed away and he truly became a father figure to me. He was also there the night my mother died. The intern program set me up for the wonderful opportunities to serve at two incredible Christian conference centers in Virginia and Florida. This picture was several Christmas´ ago when we were visiting our family in Richmond. I am so glad I got to see both of them. I know being back with Skeet in heaven has been a wonderful reunion. Thanks Joe for touching so many lives over the years including mine. I will deeply miss you but know that one day we will celebrate together in heaven.
July 23, 2021
I want to thank everybody for sharing their memories about my Daddy. Thanks and as Red Skeleton ended every show and my dad ended most conversations "May God Bless"
July 18, 2021
What a very special man of God. A pastor to pastors. He was my pastor and one I affectionately call my Virginia Baptist daddy. From the moment of my arrival to Virginia in 1989, he took me under his wing. Having served as a consultant in North Carolina, he quickly recruited me to serve in Virginia. Though I was never one of his interns he always considered me as one of his kids. When he received his diagnosis so many years ago he trusted me to fill his shoes at Ridgecrest. Shoes that no one can really fill. Lunches with him and visits with Skeet and him are special memories for me. My library and my present church library were blessed with his gifts. To my children he was like a grandfather always pulling a dollar from his pocket to bless them. When I went on vacation he was always willing to fill the pulpit in my absence. When I left my last congregation he filled the role as interim pastor. He was always willing and able. He was not only my Virginia baptist daddy but a great friend. The last conversation we had ended in us trying to schedule another lunch, which unfortunately never took place. I will look forward to seeing him and Skeet at the eternal banquet. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who feels this loss and I will celebrate his life well lived. God´s blessings.
Dr. Ron Wyatt Jr
July 16, 2021
July 16, 2021
To Joel and family; God´s peace for Joe and Juanita are surely at peace together in our Lord´s presence.
Rev. Jim Lamb
July 12, 2021
Joe was an individual I got to know at church and we became very good friends. We shared many stories about North Greenville College. I will miss Joe and his smiling face and calmness but will cherish our conversations forever.