Capt. Tory Vaughn
A message from Tory:
My dad, Captain Tory Vaughan Jr. flew west April 17, 2014 after a long battle with ALS. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years and best friend Marjorie Vaughan; daughter Anne DuBois of Wilmington, NC; son Ken Lowe of Snellville, GA; son Tory Vaughan III of Palm Coast, FL; daughter Vickie Goetchius of Cleveland , OH; grandsons Glenn Goetchius, Matthew Lowe, Rick Goetchius, Tory Vaughan IV; granddaughters Laurie Kiefer, Rachel Lowe, Amie Vaughan; daughters in law Diwanna Lowe, and Julie Vaughan. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter Elba Leigh Vaughan.
He was born January 20, 1923 in Fraziers Bottom, W. VA to Tory and Katherine Vaughan. He grew up in Fraziers Bottom with his brothers and sisters : Paul, Senith, Anita, Bill, and James. He was especially close to his younger brother Jim and they remained close friends throughout their lives. Dad was interested in flying at an early age and started flying at the Kanawha Flying School in Charleston, WV run by Glenn Clark . Glenn was a mentor to my dad and helped him to earn his flying licenses in seaplanes . Since dad had a lot of instruction time when World War II broke out, he enlisted in the US Navy and was made a Naval flight instructor in Olathe , KS and Jacksonville, FL, teaching cadets to fly. After the war he crop dusted in Tarboro, NC and throughout western Texas. In 1948 he attended American Flyers Flight Academy in Ft. Worth, TX to obtain his instrument rating and ATR . During the time at American Flyers, he became aware of an airline in North Carolina by the name of Piedmont and was interviewed and hired by Captain H.K. (Zeke ) Saunders in July , 1948. His first flight was as co pilot for Captain Harold Brown in a DC 3 taking off on runway 4 Norfolk, VA. Thirty three and a half years later he made his retirement flight in his favorite airplane - the B727 and landed the opposite direction from that first takeoff on runway 23 also in Norfolk, with his co pilot Ken Cox by his side. Throughout his career at Piedmont he flew the DC3 , Martin 404, F27, FH227, B 737, B727. He had a exciting career and had a few close calls including having to successfully ground loop a DC 3 on a ice - covered runway in Charleston, W VA; having both engines quit on takeoff at Shanadoah Airport in a Martin 404 when the water methanol system failed; and having the right engine on a B737 blow up at altitude. He was honored by President Jimmy Carter for helping to save a private pilot and his family who was lost during a night flight near Asheville, NC by guiding the pilot out of a mountain pass and into the airport at Asheville.
He met my mom , Marjorie Mc Gaughey while on a flight through Charleston, WV where she was a customer service agent for Piedmont. There is a delay charged to Chanel Number Five when dad got a little too long winded talking to mom on a flight through Charleston. He was lucky to have had such a loving and devoted wife who remained by his side to the end. Mom, you are the best and we love you.
Dad helped to organize the Piedmont pilots into the Airline Pilots Association International in 1953 and always stressed the importance of pilot unity. Through this involvement in ALPA he developed many close friendships that lasted through the years including Captain Ed Thurber, Captain Joe Fickling , Captain Al Rozitus, and many more who shared his vision for a strong and unified pilot group.
Retirement from Piedmont did not mean retirement for dad. He built two homes at at Lake Oconee, GA and Panama City Beach, FL; ran a pool supply business; built many swimming pools in the Atlanta, GA area; and also ran a Hallmark Card Shop in Newnan, GA. He was also very active in the Freemasons, being a member in Naomi Lodge 87 in Norfolk, VA and also in the Shrine for Crippled and burned children. Dad loved to do many things including fishing, hunting, carpentry, snow skiing, etc., but in my opinion was happiest with a yoke in one hand and a throttle in the other. I can still remember the excitement he had when he got to go to attend the Boeing Flight Academy in Seattle, WA in 1968 when Piedmont got their first 737s.
On a personal note I would like to thank all who have expressed their love to my mom and dad throughout the years including those who have throughout this last year sent emails and well wishes. Your thoughts meant a great deal and from the family we would like to express our gratitude. I was fortunate to have had such a loving father who gave up a year of his career so that I would have a chance to be a Piedmont pilot. He taught me to fly, fish, hunt, but mostly how to love . He rode on the jumpseat for a few times with me while retired pilots were allowed this privilege and he was happy that I was able to be an airline pilot. When visiting him we always shared many stories and with those stories he will always live in my heart. Visiting him the last few weeks, he told us he was looking forward to seeing his brother Jim, dear friends Ed Thurber, Jack Kelley, and others who have already flown west. I asked him what his favorite airplanes were and he told me hands down the Boeing 727 was the best by far, although he also loved flying the DC 3.
Per his request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. In my opinion though, I think he would remind all of us to treat each other with respect and kindness, and to enjoy the time we have with family and friends as time is short. Thank - you Dad, you truly raised me. We love you.
Tory can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org