Friends mourn Vaughan, ‘Ambassador of Kindness’
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
“He was Darlington’s Ambassador of Kindness,” one mourner said of David F. Vaughan.
Vaughan, 74, died July 23. He leaves behind a legacy of lives touched by his volunteerism in a long list of organizations ranging from Key Clubs to the Kiwanis Club and by his work as a former recreation director for the City of Darlington, a banker, and his 50 years of part-time work with Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home.
In 2013, the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce named Vaughan Citizen of the Year.
“If I had to give David a title, I would say community servant,” said Ronnie Ward, mayor of Darlington from 1984-2004 and a longtime friend of Vaughan.
“He was an example of service above self,” said Ward. “He just gave of himself. David was a great guy; he would do anything for you.”
Ward said Vaughan was devoted to the Kiwanis Club and to the Key Clubs it sponsored – youth groups from high schools. Vaughan never had children, Ward said: “I think he felt like the Key Clubs were his children.”
“David was Kiwanis and Key Club,” said Ward, who worked with Vaughan at First Federal for years. “It took a lot of time; it took a lot of effort.”
Vaughan’s volunteerism was nearly too long to list. Among other things, he was a charter member of the Billie Hardee Home for Boys Board of Directors, St. John’s High School Key Club Advisor for 28 years, Kiwanis Administrator of Key Clubs for both Carolinas, former executive director of the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association, chairman of the board of the Darlington Housing Authority, and a volunteer at the Darlington County Free Medical Clinic.
He received, to name a few of his awards, the St. John’s High School Citizenship Award, the Jaycees’ Distinguished Service Award, the Key of Honor, the highest honor bestowed by Key Club International, the Kiwanis George F. Hixson Fellowship, the Kiwanis Legion of Honor, the Kiwanis International Tablet of Honor, and the Kiwanis International Sponsored Youth Award.
One mourner wrote on Kistler-Hardee’s website: “There are people that God puts in our lives to shape us, and David was such a man for me. He was a wonderful teacher. … He was Mr. Kiwanis, and he was my friend. … He leaves behind lots of children, and I am one of them, proudly.”