Elizabeth S. R. Vaughan, M.D.
January 9, 1931 - March 2, 2006
Click portrait for enlargement.
Elizabeth S. R. Vaughan, M.D., of Richmond VA, Kinsale VA, and Cincinnati OH, passed away Thursday, March 2, 2006, after a year-long struggle with cancer.
She died as she had wished, at home, surrounded by her books, holding hands with her beloved husband David.
Dr. Vaughan was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, on January 9, 1931. She was descended from Louisiana's earliest founding families.
Those who knew her best remembered her most for these qualities: Her brilliance, her sense of humor, her love of books and music, her commitment to her patients, and her lifelong devotion to her husband and children.
Image: Grade school.
An outstanding student, she graduated from high school at 16 and completed college in two years. Unlike so many young ladies of her day, who pursued no careers, she aspired to become a physician. Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans accepted her when she was only 18 years old.
During her studies, she was bitten by a laboratory cat. The physician who administered a tetanus shot was a movie-star handsome graduate of Harvard Medical School, descendant of one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished medical families, who was studying on an allergy fellowship at the university.
Dr. David Vaughan was smitten by his beautiful, fearless, ambitious and brilliant patient.
Image: With future husband David, during their engagement.
From that day forward, they were inseparable. During a marriage of nearly 56 years, they hunted, gardened, sailed, traveled, studied genealogy, remodeled their various homes over the years, and raised four children.
The eldest was daughter Elizabeth, a physician practicing today in Greensboro, North Carolina. Next was son Kenward, now a chemistry professor in Bakersfield, California. Then Catherine, today an executive with Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati. Finally, Dorothy, now an executive with Merck Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey.
In addition to her husband and her children, she is survived by a sister, Virginia Ewing, of New Iberia, Louisiana, and seven grandchildren.
Dr. Vaughan and her husband spent their medical careers in Richmond, Virginia. Thousands of veterans with spinal cord injuries will remember her from McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center, where she healed them, gave them hope, and taught them how to enjoy full lives despite paralysis.
She retired in the late 1980s with her husband to Kinsale, on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, where they sailed, remodeled two homes, and where she planted beautiful roses and a bountiful blueberry garden.
Several years ago, they moved to Cincinnati to be near their daughter Catherine and their granddaughters.
Her ashes will be interred in the Vaughan family plot in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations in her name be sent to:
Hospice of Cincinnati
4310 Cooper Road
Cincinnati OH 45242
On the Death of a Parent
A television Interview with Elizabeth R. Vaughan, M.D., March 7, 2006.