Longtime Liberty Hill news correspondent dies at age 94

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Lillian Vaughn

Longtime Clay County Democrat correspondent Lillian Vaughn died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 at the age of 94 at the Rector Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Her words reached generations of readers in the area, with her insights into small community life, most notably her longtime weekly Liberty Hill News column in addition to original poetry, humor and lifestyle stories, never failing to capture an audience.

Vaughn began working for the fledgling Clay County Democrat soon after the paper was founded in the mid-1930s. As a teenager, she showed a capacity for wit and storytelling which far exceeded her years. She told the stories of those living in smaller communities like Liberty Hill, Simmons Chapel, Lone Holly, Mars Hill and Hickoria at a time when instant correspondence was not commonplace.

Her contributions to the newspaper and the community were celebrated numerous times through the years, including receiving special appreciation from the Arkansas Press Association for over 50 years of service.

Mrs. Vaughn was born June 20, 1918 to the late Arthur and Ethel (Carpenter) Pace. They lived in the Clay County Liberty Hill community.

She was married to Doyle Vaughn on Dec. 19, 1938 and to this union four children were born.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; an infant son; sons Marvin and Ricky Vaughn; a brother, Chester Pace, and a son-in-law, Teddy Gregory.

She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Verlin Covert of Rector; four grandchildren, Gayl Gregory and wife Janet of Berthold, N. Dak., Kenneth Gregory and wife Teresa, Matthew Vaughn and Tasha and Jennifer Gilbee and husband Joe, all of Rector; nine great-grandchildren, Brittna, Emilee and Ronni, all of Berthold, N. Dak., Teddy Gregory and Cody Holcomb of Rector, Tara and Tray Rigdon of Piggott and Zachary, Justin and Landon Gilbee of Rector and two great-great-grandchildren, Lexie and Hunter Rigdon, of Piggott.

Visitation was from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012 at the Mitchell Funeral Home in Rector. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 at the Mitchell Funeral Home Chapel in Rector with Ernie Rinks officiating. Burial followed at Liberty Hill Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Donald Lawrence, Ralph Lawrence, Jim Featherston, Bob Featherston, Earl Parrish and Randy Covert. Honorary pallbearers are Duane Garrett, Ralph Featherston and Hardin Hill.

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