Jerry Connor Vaughn
Jerry Connor Vaughn, 76, of Greenville, passed away on Friday, July 2, 2021, at the Regional Hospice Home in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The youngest of eight siblings, Jerry was born on August 24, 1944, to the late Landrum Earl Vaughn, Sr. and Mattie Gertrude McAbee Vaughn. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Betty Vaughn Fisher and Mavis Vaughn Cantrell, and brothers, Defoy, L.E. and Bobby Vaughn.
Jerry attended Chapman High School, where he was an all-star basketball and football player. He graduated in 1962, after which he served his country faithfully in the US Air Force from 1964-68. He earned his BA in physical education from the University of South Carolina in 1972 and his Master Of Arts in Education from Converse College.
Jerry worked as a coach and educator for nearly 30 years. He began his teaching career at Green Creek Elementary School in 1972. He then worked as a coach, teacher, and athletic director at Polk Central High School from 1973-80. In 1980, he moved to his beloved alma mater, Chapman High School, where he taught and coached golf, basketball, football and baseball.
In 1988, Jerry moved from Chapman to Byrnes High School. He led the Byrnes boys basketball team to the State Championship finals in 1993 and was named the Spartanburg Herald Journal's "Coach of the Year" for both the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. Jerry's team described him as "a role model we are proud to follow," and even after his retirement, he continued to act as an inspiration and mentor to his players.
Jerry was a dedicated member of the church of his youth, Inman Mills Baptist Church, where he took great pleasure in reconnecting with many lifelong friends. He was active in the Sunday school class led by Pastor Jack Hames among many other church activities. Jerry was also an avid sports enthusiast; the only thing that made him happier than a Carolina Gamecocks victory was a Clemson Tigers defeat. His passion for golf was another of his great joys in life; he worked as a starter ranger at River Falls Plantation Golf for 25 years.
The title which Jerry held most dear, however, was the name by which his five granddaughters called him: "Papa Jerry." He cherished the time they spent together, delighted in stories of their mischief and sass, and took pride in their every accomplishment.
Jerry is survived by his adoring wife of 17 years, Judy Ann Vaughn, with whom he loved to travel to national parks throughout the country and marvel at the wondrous beauty of God's creation. He is also survived by two daughters, Angela Vaughn Jones and Amanda Vaughn Leonardi and her husband, Mike; five granddaughters, Olivia Jones, Grace, Roey, Sophia, and Willa Leonardi; a sister, Loretta Vaughn Rogers; a brother, Joe Vaughn and his wife, Judy, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held, Monday, July 5, 2021, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM, at Seawright Funeral Home, Inman, South Carolina. Funeral services will be held at Inman Mills Baptist Church on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 2:00 PM, conducted by Rev. Travis Smith and Mr. Layne Fowler. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Inman, South Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations please be made to the Inman Mills Baptist Church Family Life Center Fund, a cause dear to Jerry's heart, 22 B Street, Inman, South Carolina 29349.
Seawright Funeral Home and Crematory