Judges, attorneys, politicians and other friends joined Judge R.C. Vaughan Saturday for a lunch celebrating his 90th birthday.

The judge listened as people he trained, worked along side and helped over the years reminisced about their time with him.

The loving tributes came from lawyers who practiced in front of him, judges he helped train and friends who kept him company during his “second career” of community service.

One of those people was Tom Redwine, a local attorney, who gave the group attending a little background Vaughan.

He came to Grayson County in 1923 at the age of 8 and graduated from Denison High School in 1931. He went to University of Texas and went on to law school at the University of Texas School of Law and graduated in 1938. Vaughan was elected to a County Court-at-Law in Grayson County in 1948. In 1952, he won election to the 15th state District Court. He stayed in that position until 1985 when he retired.

Horace Groff, former Grayson County judge, took up the story from there. He said he was the one who asked Vaughan to take on a committee assignment that Groff said turned into something of a “cult.”

Calling Vaughan a mentor and long-time friend, Groff said he started hearing about the Texas Sesquicentennial and knew that he needed someone to organize Grayson County's festivities. He thought Judge Vaughan would do well at that since he had recently retired.

“He said he wasn't that good at organizing things,” Groff said and then had to wait for the laughter to die down.

He said that Vaughan and the group he quickly assembled handled the Texas Sesquicentennial and then looked for something else to do.

So, they took on the celebration of the Bill of Rights and then the Grayson County Sesquicentennial. Then they started looking at the millennium.

The group took on the “Millennium Committee” as its name and was known as that until Vaughan decided to retire, once again, this fall.

Dr. Jerry Lincecum, a member of that committee, said the group had so much fun together that it was hard to disband, but the time had come.

Dr. Ann Thomas, a co-chair of the group, presented Vaughan with card and a parting gift.

Lincecum said, in a previous interview, that the group had a habit of giving Vaughan “routine surprise” birthday parties. And they gave him cards and funny gifts. Thomas' gift, a pair of yellow boxers designed to look like a legal pad imprinted with the words “Legal Briefs” on one side. Vaughan laughed as he saw the gift.

The humor apparent in the gift seemed to sum up the good-spirited fun the group had over the years as they worked to preserve Grayson County history.

Vaughan said the event “was a great honor” and thanked those in the Grayson County Bar Association, the Millennium Committee and others who helped to plan the event.

His son, Charles, attended the event and said the comments from so many local attorneys, judges and friends means a great deal to Vaughan.

“This is something he would have never planned for himself, but he is very honored,” Charles Vaughan said.

In addition, the audience also heard from Grayson County Judge Tim McGraw, Jim Fry, retired judge of the 15th state district court, Ray Grisham, retired judge of the 336th state district court, and Lloyd Perkins, retired judge of the 59th state district court and many other local people whose lives Vaughan touched over the years.

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat


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