Sara Vaughan

August 1, 1931 ~ December 3, 2018 (age 87)


Sara Reaves Vaughan


Sara Reaves Vaughan, 87, peacefully passed away, at her home in Fort Walton Beach, on December 3rd, 2018, after a long, bravely-fought battle with myeloma. 


Sara was proud of her family and her roots. She was born and raised in Eufaula, Alabama, descending from Scottish pioneers, with extended family across southern Alabama and Georgia.  She graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) in 1953 and was a lifetime fan, always hollerin’ “War Eagle” whenever seeing other fans. After college, she taught school in Crestview before falling for a local boy.  Sara and John lived in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Indiana before settling back in Fort Walton Beach in 1997. Sara was married to John sixty years before his passing in 2016.


John and Sara shared a love for Travel and Archeology/Paleontology.  They visited every state, over a dozen countries, and cruised seas and rivers in America and Europe. As members of the Emerald Coast Archeology Society, Sara and John were not afraid to get dirty. They worked at local archeological digs, and even dug for dinosaurs in Utah. Sara maintained large collection of artifacts and fossils from across the nation.


True to her southern roots, Sara was proper, quiet, and polite; but those who know her knew she had her opinions.  She was active for decades in her local churches, earning an Honorary Life Membership from the Presbyterian Women. She was a member of the Fort Walton Beach Women’s Club. She loved Bridge and would even play all four hands by herself between club meetings. She worked the crossword and played solitaire daily.


Sara was traditional but, in many ways ahead of the curve. To family, she has been "Gaga" for over 30 years. (The original Lady Gaga.)  In the 70’s, she was a recycler when it meant cleaning, storing and carting bottles and cans across the city to collection points. She was a "picker" before the term was invented; leading the church bazar for many years, setting prices, weeding out the junk, and building her own many collections.


Each of her ten grandchildren think they are Gaga’s favorite.  That was her greatest gift, recognizing the uniqueness in all of them. She was always finding small things that directly resonated with people; whether it was a gift, a card, a tee shirt, or just a newspaper clipping, and sharing them in a way that made each one feel most special.


Sara is survived by her children Cheryl, John (Marybeth) and Suzanne (Les); grandchildren Beth (Jorge), Taylor (Hilary), Sallie, Abby (Michael), Trey, Jessica, Conner, John, Jimmy and Wade; great-granddaughter Marianne; and over a dozen nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews who will all miss the love and wit of their Gaga.


A celebration of Sara's life and love will be at 11:00, on December 15th, at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Walton Beach. Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in entrusted with arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to either St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society.

To send flowers to Sara's family, please visit our floral store.


A Celebration of Life
December 15, 2018

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church
134 Beal PKWY
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

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