James R. Vaughn


(Aug. 7, 2007)

James R. Vaughn, a World War II veteran, longtime Powell High School guidance counselor and past school board member, died Tuesday, Aug. 7, following a long bout with prostate cancer. He was 87.

A memorial service is being held at the United Methodist Church in Powell this Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m.

Jim was born on May 4, 1920 at Iowa City, Iowa and spent his early years in Bloomfield, Iowa with his adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Vaughn. Volunteering for the U.S. Army, his tour of duty extended from September 1941 to November 1945. During the period, Jim served in Guadalcanal and Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, and in Luzon, Philippine Islands. He moved through the enlisted ranks to become sergeant major of the 82nd Chemical Mortar Battalion, a unit in demand by the infantry for its use of high explosive and white phosphorus shells.

Upon his return to the U. S., Jim attended the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree. He taught biology and general science in the Osage, Iowa, high school for nine years. At that time, he met and then married his wife, LeGene, on Aug. 29, 1950.

Jim earned a master’s degree in educational guidance from the University of Wyoming in 1954, and a professional diploma, with 30 hours beyond a master’s, from UW.

Jim served as a guidance counselor at PHS from 1954 to 1984. During this time, Jim taught field summer school and extension classes for UW.

He served a term as president of the Wyoming Association for Counseling and Development, was a member of the Park County Mental Health Association and was its president, and was a member of the board of directors of the Big Horn Basin Counseling Center. Jim also served on the Wyoming Teacher Education and Professional Standards Board, and was its chairman for two years, and the Professional Standards Board of the Wyoming Department of Education.

He was elected to the Powell School Board in 1984, and served four years as treasurer and three years as the board’s representative on the Northwest Wyoming Board of Cooperative Services, Big Horn Basin Children's Center. Jim was a member, and an elder, of the Presbyterian Church, and was a member of several committees.

Jim enjoyed hunting and fishing, and especially enjoyed his friends and associates. He had a great sense of humor that saw him through some of the tougher times in life.

Survivors are LeGene, his wife of 56 years; daughters Nancy Lee Foster of Davenport, Iowa, and Julie Ann Bennett of Buffalo; a son, James B. Vaughn of Cheney, Wash.; and three grandchildren, Miles and Wesley Bennett, and Teresa Foster.