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American Veteran 01

Thayne G. Vaughan

October 4, 1937 ~ July 4, 2019 (age 81)

Thayne G Vaughan passed away very unexpectedly on 4 Jul 2019. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM with a Visitation one hour prior at 10:00 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1015 15th Ave. South, Great Falls. 


Born on 4 Oct 1937, he proudly would tell those he met that he was from Downey, ID. He was born to Lionel Vaughan and Nona Aletha Burrup. When he was 6 years old his Mother passed away and he and his Dad were alone. In Nov 1947 Lionel married Orba Dryer. Orba had a young son George and he and Thayne became close brothers in their new family. Throughout his lifetime his many stories would come from tales and adventures that they all had as a family in southeastern Idaho. Thayne had a special fondness for his Mom and Dad that he expressed often even after they were gone.


Thayne attended elementary and high school in Downey where he lettered in basketball and football. His Dad was the school custodian for the Downey schools. Lionel was known to bring his boys along with him to clean the schools, do maintenance, and refinish floors. Thayne would later say that it was his Dad that taught him how to work hard. Thayne was known throughout his life as a physically strong and large man. He said that was from working on farms as a teenager in the Downey area. Thayne also played saxophone in local dance bands. The Vaughans of Marsh Valley were known for their music and Thayne was a talented tenor sax player. Downey, Idaho is a very small town, but it seemed that throughout his life he would run into people he knew from Downey. He liked the people of Downey, it was where he was from and they had helped to shape him. 


After high school Thayne attended 1 year at Idaho State University. He then served a 2.5 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While he was away on his mission His Mom and Dad welcomed another brother Eugene to the family. Thayne loved both of his brothers. He said of them that it did not matter when or how they came to the family; they were his family and that was what was important to him. Over these many years the brothers have been close.


Upon completion of his time as a missionary Thayne returned to Downey to begin working at Thiokol Defense Plant outside of Tremonton, UT. He needed a place to rent in Tremonton and his future wife's Grandmother had such a place. When Thayne knocked at her door, she said to him "Come in my Angel, I've been waiting for you". He was later leaning in a doorway watching DiAnn Hawkins play the organ. She decided that he was a returned missionary still living the mission standards and 6 months later they were engaged and preparing for a November wedding. When the 889th Army Reserve Transportation Battalion was activated it was decided to move the wedding up. They were married and sealed for time and eternity to each other on 6 Nov 1961 in the Logan Utah Temple in Logan, Utah. DiAnn and Thayne would spend their honeymoon at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.


Thayne later returned to college but this time he was enrolled at Utah State University. They had 2 young sons (David Thayne & Michael G) and he worked midnight shifts to put himself through school. During college DiAnn's brothers and their wives (Richard & Joan and Spencer & Janet) would eat together often. The meal was a very unique creation of their own making that they called enchiladas. This became a staple in the Vaughan household as his kids grew. Thayne would spend hours at the stove cooking shells in hot grease. After his own kids grew it was decided that Dad did not need to endure the grease burns anymore and he allowed broken tortilla chips to be used instead. This is now a favorite meal of many of his Grandkids and is served on a regular basis at Sunday family dinners. 


Thayne received his Air Force Officer's Commission at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO during a special camp. His first duty assignment was at Paine Field, WA where he was responsible for Mortuary Affairs and the base Commissary. During that assignment a 3rd son (Jeffrey Lionel) joined the family. The family returned to Logan as Thayne went to Vietnam. He was the housing officer at Tan Son Nhut Air Base where he was responsible for the quarters of those who were incoming and outgoing. The military and Vietnamese people liked him but he was missed by his family at home. Upon his return stateside the family was assigned to Grand Forks AFB, ND. Thayne spent 4 years there as a Missile Launch Officer. Another son (Christopher Lee) joined the family. Vacations were spent returning to Idaho and Utah to visit family. After North Dakota the family spent Christmas in Idaho and Utah while enroute to the next assignment at Vandenberg AFB, CA. 


Life was busy in CA. Thayne earned his MBA from Golden Gate University and then began teaching college programs at the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution. Professor Vaughan would also later teach courses for the University of Southern California. He bought a business of Bee Hives and enjoyed tending his bees. His now teenage sons were active and Thayne & DiAnn made sure they never missed an activity. He was an active parent and leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He was always the last person on the trail and over the course of many hikes collected much equipment that was left behind by hikers. He really loved his boys and they loved him. 


Thayne always wanted to be in Montana. In 1981 the family was transferred to Malmstrom AFB, MT. This would be the final move as he retired in Great Falls, MT and decided to stay put. After retirement Thayne worked for for Big Sky United, Dick Irvin Trucking, and Hi-Line Moving Services. He spent summers travelling the country with his sons, nephews, and grandkids as his helpers and companions. He made sure to stop in often on his family that were in other parts of the country as often as possible.


Thayne was a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was proud of his pioneer and immigrant heritage. He was an active participant in the Church's Extraction Program. 


Thayne had a tremendous sense of humor. He was comfortable speaking with anyone. He simply liked people. Many thought of him as their second Dad and many others thought of him as their closest friend. He loved his family deeply. He was preceded in death by his Dad and both of his Moms as well as a sister (Mary Jo). It was a deep shock to lose him. He is missed already by his friends and those acquaintances he had around town and throughout his life. He will be missed most by his own family of DiAnn, David & Tami, Michael & Geri, Jeff & Katie, Chris, Barrett & Holly, Jessica & CJ, Jordan & Kylie, Benjamin & Sydni, Jarom, LaCrissa & Cass, Lauren, Everett, Devin, Bryce, Michael, Connor, Parker, Porter, Cody, Connor, Kaiden, Kelden, Monroe & Tripp, Keiran & Brylynn, and Easton.


He was a wonderful Dad & Gpa. 

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