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Donald T. Vaughn, Sr.

June 9, 1944 October 23, 2011
Donald T. Vaughn,  Sr.
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Obituary for Donald T. Vaughn, Sr.

In Loving Memory

Donald T. Vaughn, Sr., son of the late Shaffer and Amanda Vaughn, was born on June 9, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was the last born of 4 children, of which the eldest 2 preceded him in death: Willa Mearl and Shaffer.  In addition, Don (as he was lovingly called by family and friends) has 2 cousins who grew up close to him like siblings: Ricky Vaughn and Cheryl Adams.  Even though Donald was the youngest child in the household, he was a natural born leader and an inspiration to all that came in contact with him.

Young Donald was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System.  He matriculated through Douglas Singley Elementary School, Vaux Junior High and Edison High School.  He later attended Villanova and Penn State Universities while working in his beloved career of criminal justice.

Donald was united in holy matrimony to Florine B. Williams on September 20, 1970 at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Wynnefield, PA by the late Frank B. Mitchell, Jr.  Donald and Florine also co-raised his son Eric from a previous marriage, whom preceded him in death.  This family unit, including their extended family, is one of the most loving and tightly knit families known to man, a true testament to God's natural plan.  Although Donald accepted Christ into his life at an early age, he reaffirmed his decision at Pinn Memorial where he was baptized by Pastor Mitchell.  After serving several years on the usher board at Pinn, he and his family joined the fellowship family of Christian Stronghold Baptist Church, under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Dr. Willie Richardson.  Donald was integral in assisting Pastor Larry James and the Prison Ministry to grow and touch the lives of those incarcerated, as well as their families.  he was always proud to both attend and stand before the men of Stronghold and speak at the Men's Breakfasts.  Donald sought out direction, inspiration and growth while attending several Men's Retreats with the men of Christian Stronghold as well as being a member of the cell leadership team.  It was under the leadership and friendship of Pastor Willie Richardson, Asst. Pastor Christopher Bell and Ass. Pastor Larry James that Donald grew the most.  All 3 of these powerful, Godly leaders were also raised on the streets of North Philadelphia and provided great inspiration, love and support to our beloved and helped to strengthen and continue to develop an already outstanding husband, father, brother and friend.

Retired Deputy Secretary Vaughn began his career in criminal justice in January 1967 at the old Eastern State Correctional Institution as a correctional officer.  He served as a Corrections Officer 1 for SCI Graterford from 1969-1970 and was appointed to serve on a 6 man commission in 1970 to establish a community service center in Philadelphia by former Commissioner Sieloff.  He served on this commission for 2 years.  From there, he served as Sergeant, SCI Graterford (1972-1975), Lieutenant, SCI Graterford (1975-1976) and was appointed Acting Deputy Warden of the Lehigh County Jail by former Commissioner Robinson (1976-1977).  From there he became Major of the guard, SCI Graterford (1977-1983) and was appointed Acting Superintendent until July 2003.  It was in July of 2003 that he accepted the promotion of Deputy Secretary, Eastern Region where he served until his retirement in 2006.  Deputy Secretary Vaughn was an honorable man.  He devoted his time and energy to instilling discipline and encouraging rehabilitation of the inmates at Graterford.  He was a phenomenal orator, a true public servant and one of the finest human beings to walk this earth.

Throughout Retired Deputy Secretary Donald Vaughn's career, he received many commendations too numerous to mention.  However, most notable of these commendations are the many received for his participation as the primary negotiator during a 5 day hostage situation at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford.  Mr. Vaughn also received many awards from various organizations in which he was both a member or honorary member.  In 1994, he was the recipient of the President's Award from the PA Prison Wardens Association.  He also served on the Committee for "3 Strikes You're Out" where he worked with Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno.

Mr. Vaughn was a proud member of the American Correctional Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, the PA Prison Wardens Association and the PA Association on Probation, Parole and Corrections.  Mr. Vaughn was also affiliated with several other organizations within the local community.  He was a Past President of the PA Chapter of the National Association of Black's in Criminal Justice, a Mason with Prince hall Lodge #74, Recording Secretary of The Seminar's and on the board of the PA Prison's Society.

On Sunday, October 23, 2011 at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, PA the Lord called on his son to leave this earthly body and sit at the right hand of the Heavenly Father.  Donald leaves to cherish his legacy: his beautiful, loving and God-fearing wife of 41 years, Florine (nee Williams); 3 children Kwanda Aliya Amanda Vaughn, Damika Senae Harris (Roderick) and Donald Vaughn, Jr. (Julia); 6 grandchildren, Jena Simone and Lauren Ashlyn Harris, Daejah Lynne and Nina Simone Jolie Vaughn, Senae La'ryn Harris and MacKenzie Blake; 1 sister Jacqueline Vaughn; 3 brothers-in-law, Jarvis, Henry(Ernesta) and Felton Williams; 5 sisters-in-law, Gayle Dickerson, Freda Justice, Annie Gadson(Leo), Dr. Princess Williams, Roberta Williams-Frank; 1 god-sister, Cynthia Brown; 3 god-daughters, C'Artis Brown, Monica and Erica Justice; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins and a plethora of dear friends, neighbors and church family.

There will be a viewing on Friday, October 28th 9:00 AM at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church located at 4701 Lancaster Avenue.  The funeral service will start at 11:00 AM.  Final resting place will be Mt. Zion Cemetery in Collingdale, PA.

To send flowers in memory of Donald T. Vaughn, Sr., visit the Tribute Store.


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