Lewis Debreczen Vaughns, Sr was born in Brunson, South Carolina to the late Josiah and Eliza Vaughns November 8, 1925. After a very brief illness he transitioned from this life Wednesday, December 30, 2020. When he was 9 months old the family of 13 brothers and sisters moved to Savannah, Georgia where he attended and graduated from the Savannah-Chatham County public school system. Another brother was born in Savannah, GA. He was the last child of Josiah and Eliza. He is a 1944 Graduate of Beach-Cuyler High School, received his B.S. Degree in Chemistry from Savannah State College 1950 and his M.A. Degree in Science Education from New York University, 1960. Additional studies at Cornell University, Virginia State, University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University.
Lewis Vaughns began his career in 1945 when he joined the United States Army and was sent to Japan to serve towards the end of World War II. After returning from WWII, he entered Savannah State University and graduated in 1950. Upon graduation he began teaching Science at Todd Grant High School in Darien, GA where he stayed for five years. After leaving Darien, GA he became a school social worker for 2 years and then went on to become the Director of the Career Opportunities Program (COP) in 1968. The program was designed to attract people to careers in education. Under his dynamic leadership, 42 model cities neighborhood residents and 30 Vietnam era military successfully completed the program. Most became teachers and principals like him. Others strived for higher aspirations and became ministers, Bishops, Presiding Elders of the AME Church, Baptist Church or non denominations. Some were in the Military and others worked in law enforcement as police officers, attorneys and even judges. He was their only director and the program was in existence for 5 years.
At the end of this program he became a school administrator and worked at Scott Middle school from 1973 – 1976, Windsor Forest High School from 1976 – 1980, Johnson High from 1980-1983 and Wilder Middle School from 1983 - 1986 where he retired.
Mr. Vaughns was a member of the Retired Teachers Association, Georgia Education Association, NAACP, National Guardsmen, Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (1972), a Member of Phi Delta Kappa Professional Educational Fraternity (1973), The Falcons civic club, Savannah State National Alumni Association, Pan Hellenic Council, former Sunday School Superintendent at Bethel AME Church, Savannah, GA the Mutuals Benevolent Society, The Wolves Civic organization and the VFW American Legion Post 500 where he was recognized recently on Veterans Day as the oldest living member. In 2004 and 2008, Lewis Vaughns was recognized as an Outstanding Georgia Citizen at Savannah Day at the Capitol where several church, civic organizations and family members were on hand. Additionally, Friday, March 29, 1996 and March 9, 2003 were proclaimed Lewis Debreczen Vaughns Day. Mr. Vaughns has been a delegate to 4 General Conferences of the AME Church with his last being in Louisville, Kentucky July 1996, several Old Georgia Conference meetings, Old GA Conference Lay Treasurer, Sunday School Conventions, and a registered delegate to the Christian Education Leadership Congress for 40+ years.
He was married to the late Albertha J Vaughns and they have 3 children, Sandra V. Miller (Savannah, GA), Lewis D. Vaughns, Jr (Savannah, GA) and Leslie D. Vaughns (Atlanta, GA); 4 granddaughters, Michelle Lewis (Greensboro, NC), Deirdre Miller (Savannah, GA), Brittany Fripp (Savannah, GA) and Kamryn S. Vaughns (Atlanta, GA); 8 great grands, 2 great great grands and a set of twins on the way and a host of nieces, nephews and honorary kids and grandkids. He loved his fraternity, church and God. He was loved by all that came to know him and will be missed.
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