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Nelsen Funeral Home & Crematory - Reid Chapel

412 S. Washington Hwy., Ashland, VA

OBITUARY

Virginius Nelson Vaughan, III

December 13, 1942January 18, 2020
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Virginius Nelson Vaughan, III, who retired to Ashland after a 53-year career in New York City as a VP of small business finance at Citibank, died suddenly at his home on January 18 at the age of 77. Nelson was born in Richmond, the son of Virginius Nelson Vaughan, Jr. of Ashland and Sarah Craig Vaughan of Franklin, Tennessee. Although he grew up in suburban New Jersey, Nelson was a proud Virginian-in-exile with roots reaching back to colonial Jamestown. Childhood summers at Camp Virginia in Goshen, VA, and formative years working at Barksdale Dinner Theater cemented his infatuation with his namesake state. Nelson received a BS in Sociology from Randolph-Macon and MS in Economics from VCU before venturing north.

Nelson loved good food, travel, and above all meeting people. He was an endless optimist, world traveler, and compulsive volunteer. Nelson’s love of the stage combined with a sense of civic duty called him to a leadership role in the Boy Scouts of America and onward into local politics. He served as mayor of Chatham, New Jersey from 2007 to 2011 before returning to Ashland. There he volunteered with the Democratic Party of Virginia, Kiwanis of Ashland, At Home in Ashland, the Ashland Museum and wherever he could.

Nelson is survived by his sons, Marshall and Spencer; grandchildren Henry, Teaghan, Mackenzie, and Lincoln; a brother, James; a cousin, the Hon. Martha Craig Daughtrey and the many people and organizations he loved and championed.

Visitation will be Saturday the 25th 4-8pm; service and burial will be Sunday the 26th 2pm to 3:30pm at the Nelsen funeral home 412 S. Washington Highway, Ashland VA 23005 proceeding to Woodland Cemetery. Both are open to the public. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a local Ashland charity of your choice.

  • FAMILY

  • Nelson was born in Richmond, the son of Virginius Nelson Vaughan, Jr. of Ashland and Sarah Craig Vaughan of Franklin, Tennessee. Although he grew up in suburban New Jersey, Nelson was a proud Virginian-in-exile with roots reaching back to colonial Jamestown. Childhood summers at Camp Virginia in Goshen, VA, and formative years working at Barksdale Dinner Theater cemented his infatuation with his namesake state. Nelson received a BS in Sociology from Randolph-Macon and MS in Economics from VCU before venturing north.
    Nelson loved good food, travel, and above all meeting people. He was an endless optimist, world traveler, and compulsive volunteer. Nelson’s love of the stage combined with a sense of civic duty called him to a leadership role in the Boy Scouts of America and onward into local politics. He served as mayor of Chatham, New Jersey from 2007 to 2011 before returning to Ashland. There he volunteered with the Democratic Party of Virginia, Kiwanis of Ashland, At Home in Ashland, the Ashland Museum and wherever he could.
    Nelson is survived by his sons, Marshall and Spencer; grandchildren Henry, Teaghan, Mackenzie, and Lincoln; a brother, James; a cousin, the Hon. Martha Craig Daughtrey and the many people and organizations he loved and championed.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Funeral Service Sunday, January 26, 2020

Memories

Virginius Nelson Vaughan, III

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Clara Scott

February 3, 2020

I am so sorry about the passing of your father. He was an extraordinary man. I will always remember him and his words of wisdom during my campaign. I know he would be proud of the awesome job you all did for his memorial service.

Keep his memories alive!

Will miss you Nelson

Joseph Mikulewicz

January 25, 2020

I enjoyed my time with Nelson on the Chatham Borough Council. As Mayor he did a lot for our town, including the first Community Garden, Mayor's Wellness Campaign and establishing the Public Arts Committee to name a few. He will always come to mind when I see the art installations that are sprinkled around our town. My condolences to the entire Vaughan family.

Brooke Golden

January 25, 2020

Nelson so sorry my friend from 60+ years ago has passed; but, am so grateful that he punched his own ticket to the successes in his life. Our families were friends in NJ - his in Chatham, mine in Summit before we moved to roots in Virginia. We saw Nelson in a play at Randolph-Macon. He was such a nice young man, and loved sailing too. His mother's beautiful large painted portrait in their home entranced me.

God bless his brother, his children and grandchildren. I had no idea he was back here in Ashland.

You are an angel now.

Brooke Canada Golden

Leonard Resto

January 24, 2020

I am sorry to hear this news. Former Mayor Vaughan reached out to me in 2007 to chair the newly formed Green Initiatives Committee and his infectious enthusiasm got me really started serving the Borough of Chatham. I last spoke with him about 6 months ago when he just called to see how I was doing and to invite me down to Virginia so he could show me around. He was a good cheerleader for Chatham and will be missed. My condolences to the entire extended family of former Mayor Vaughan.

Tina Vaughan

January 22, 2020

There isn’t just one memory that comes to mind when I think about Nelson. There are so many, too many to share them all. I was unbelievably lucky to be blessed with him as a father in law. The only thing greater than having him as a father in law, was having him as the grandfather for my children. He taught them so much but also loved just sitting in the background watching them figure things out. They adored him as much as he adored them. I’ve said many times that Spencer is such an amazing father because he had such a great role model. Nelson was such a sweet and caring person. He could also be grumpy, silly, stubborn, funny, smart, thoughtful, but above all else, helpful. He would do anything he could for anyone. We’ve often joked that his one fault would be he’s too helpful. Nelson would drop everything and drive three hours so he could go to grandparents lunch at school with Henry and Teaghan, or to sit with Mackenzie and Lincoln so I could go see the big kids at school. He was here so both Spencer and I could take Henry and Teaghan to their first day of school. He was always the first one at the hospital when each of the kids was born, no matter how far he had to travel. He had a kind word and a firm handshake for everyone he met. I’m so grateful to have had him in our lives but it still hurts so much to lose such a wonderful person.

R-MC Alumni Office

January 22, 2020

Nelson will be remembered fondly by his many friends at Randolph-Macon College. The Boydton Society of R-MC and the alumni staff will remember in particular Nelson's constant participation in our field trips to historic sites around Virginia. Nelson always had a relevant story to share to the delight of other participants. He was eager to share details of his own family genealogy which he researched to find a personal connection to historic events.
We will miss him.
Office of Alumni Relations staff - Alice Lynch, Executive Director, and Margaret Dodson, Assistant Director

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