Major Richard B. Vaughters USAF, retired, 85, of New Salem, passed away Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2019, at his home.
Funeral services are at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at Miles Funeral Service. Burial will follow at New Salem Cemetery.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, with family greeting visitors from 4 to 6 p.m.
Memorials have been established in Dick’s name for the First Presbyterian Church and for Victory in the Valley. Contributions can be made through the funeral home. Online condolences can be made at www.milesfuneralservice.com.
Born Jan. 10, 1934, in Newkirk, Okla., Dick was the son of William H. and Hazel (Chandler) Vaughters. He was raised and educated in Winfield, graduating from Winfield High School in 1952. Following school, he worked for two years as a draftsman for Boeing. On a bet with a friend as to whether he could pass the Air Force entrance exam, Dick joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954. He went through basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and primary flight school at Graham AFB before graduating from flight school from Greenville AFB in Mississippi. There were more than 200 people in his flight school, and he graduated second in his class. He was then stationed at Laughlin AFB in Texas.
Dick married Allene Lumbert on Nov. 20, 1955, in her parents’ living room in New Salem. During the next 20 years, the couple lived around the world, as Dick was stationed at many different Air Force bases, flying primarily the RF-101 and RF-4C. They were stationed at Luke AFB in Arizona, Shaw AFB in South Carolina, Spangdahlem AFB in Germany, Phalsbourg AFB in France, Laon AFB in France and Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. Dick also served in Vietnam and Korea. During his time in the Air Force, he obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Omaha in general studies, with a concentration in history.
Dick retired from the Air Force as a major on March 1, 1974. He then began working as a test pilot for Cessna at Strother Field. He remained at Cessna for more than 11 years, retiring in 1987. He then worked for Raytheon as a technical writer on flight manuals before retiring his final time in 1996. While in the Air Force and while working as a test pilot for Cessna, he never lost or left an airplane. He always got them back on the ground.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Winfield, as well as the American Legion and served as president of Cowley County Farm Bureau. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed skeet shooting and sporting clays.
In addition to his parents, Dick was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Margie Vaughters.
His family includes his wife, Allene, of New Salem; his children, Kevin Vaughters and wife, Joy, of Edna, Susie Blasi and husband, Bob, of Pratt, and David Vaughters and wife, Mary, of Rose Hill; his brother, Raymond Vaughters, of Derby; his grandchildren, Chantel Martinie, Derek Vaughters and wife, Angelina, Bronson Blasi and wife, Kate, Kaylee Vaughters, and Madison Vaughters; and his three great-grandchildren, Audra, Aiden and Leia.