Philip's Story

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Philip H. Vaughan, historian, author, educator and administrator at Rose State College, died Friday, August 22, 2014, at his home after a short illness. He was 76. Dr. Vaughan was born Jan. 27, 1938, in Memphis, Tenn., to Richard and Helen Vaughan. He and his wife Shirley worked together to achieve his educational goals, and, after a stint in the U.S. Navy, he was greatly aided by the G.I. Bill, and among the several jobs he worked to support himself and the family, were sportswriter and master forklift operator. He earned his bachelor and master’s in history from Memphis State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. His teaching career began as St. Mary’s Girl’s School in Chattanooga, Tenn.; thereafter, he taught at Memphis State, the University of Oklahoma and Iowa State University. In 1974, he began a 22-year teaching and administrative career at Rose State College, Midwest City, serving as chairperson, then dean of the Social Science Division from 1976 to 1983. He retired from Rose State in 1996. Dr. Vaughan was an historian of wide ranging interests, concentrating primarily on 20th century America, especially civil rights and late century American literature. Throughout his life, he read widely and deeply on a seemingly endless series of topics. A Harry S. Truman scholar, his first published title was, “The Truman Administration’s Legacy for Black America,” (1976). His abiding interest in American literature is expressed in “John Updike’s Images of America,” (1982), and “Perceptions of Time and Place: A Critique of Five Novels of Percy Walker,” (1984). Over the years, he used his keen analytical skills not only on historical matters but his other great passion, thoroughbred racing. Phil was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of nineteen years, Gwen Atkinson. He is survived by his first wife, Shirley Brown and their two children, Holly Williams and her husband Dewey Williams of Grove and son, Philip H. Vaughan Jr. and his wife Pat of Austin, Texas; grandchildren, Darby Williams of Oklahoma City and Drew Williams and his wife Tasha and their son Dallas of Bartlesville; stepson, Joe Cooley of Oklahoma City; and his cousin, Dorothy Holland of Memphis, Tenn. At his request, no funeral services are planned although a memorial reception will be held at Havenbrook Funeral Home from 1 to 4:00 p.m. Thursday. He requested that his ashes, with those of Gwen and his beloved dog Griffin, be scattered near St. Augustine, Fla., where he and Gwen often visited and Gwen served in the 1980s as dean of women at Flagler College in St. Augustine. The family has requested as appropriate for remembrance, the American Cancer Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AFCPA). Arrangements for Phil have been entrusted to the care of Havenbrook Funeral Service/Home.
Published on  August 25, 2014
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