Obituaries » Delois Nelson Vaughan

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Delois Nelson Vaughan

March 10, 2021

Owens Funeral Svcs; Chapel
104 Green Chimney
Ashland, Va 23005
Sunday 1pm
March 21, 2021

Delois N. Vaughan, affectionately known as Joann, was born February 5, 1953 to Catherine A. Nelson and Joseph A. Nelson of Ruther Glen, VA. Delois departed this life on March 10, 2021 in her home in Richmond, Va.

Delois was raised in the church with the accompaniment of her brother and sisters: Carroll, Geneva and Shelia Nelson (late). She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age and was still a member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Noel, VA.

Delois graduated from John M. Gandy High school and went on to attend and earn her degree from Virginia Union University. It was there that she found her first love: James C. Vaughan, Sr. and her life’s passion: teaching. She took a job during her studies in the financial aid office. This is where she really cultivated her helping and giving spirit. Delois and James married and soon after had their only child, James C. Vaughan, Jr.

Delois began her teaching career at Fort Polk Elementary school in Leesville, Louisiana in 1984. She taught there for two years before returning to Virginia. She took her next teaching assignment in King William, VA. She taught kindergarten and first grade at Hamilton-Holmes Elementary, then Acquinton Elementary school. This is where she honed her skill and devised her approach to education. She believed if the children could feel her love, then they would work hard to make her proud. Delois loved the children of King William for four years before seeking a different challenge. She would spend the rest of her teaching career in the Richmond Public School system: Woodville Elementary, Oakgrove-Bellemeade Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary and finally Bellevue Elementary. These schools were thought of as “at-risk”. Delois saw these schools as an opportunity to give love to children who really need it, and she didn’t look back. Delois achieved teacher of the year status and other accolades, but her goal was to educate and love her students. That was her crowning occupational achievement.

If teaching was her passion, then raising her son into a intelligent, strong, black man was her priority. She worked many years at Kings Dominion as a part-time/seasonal employee to ensure her son had all that he would need. When James C. Vaughan, Sr. passed away in 1989, she enlisted the assistance of her father to satisfy that male role model in her son’s life. She loved her son and supported him as only a loving mother could. Delois didn’t miss any of his extra-curricular events and loved all of his friends as her own sons. She was affectionately known by all of her son’s friends as “Mama Vaughan”.

When she became a grandmother in 2006, her priority shifted from her son to her grandson. She ABSOLUTELY loved James C. Vaughan, III (L.J.) aka her “Bullet” with her WHOLE heart. You couldn’t miss hearing her voice in the stands as “Bullet” would dart across the court to get a steal: “GO BABY or THAT’S MY GRANDBABY!” As she did for her son, Delois never missed any of LJ’s extracurricular events. She travelled the entire East coast and Midwest following, supporting and most importantly LOVING her grandson.

Delois was proceeded in death by Shelia Nelson (Sister), James C. Vaughan, Sr. (Husband), Andrew Nelson (Nephew), LaTosha Nelson (Niece) and Joseph A. Nelson (Father).
To cherish her memory she leaves her loving mother Catherine Nelson, Geneva and Carroll (brother and sister), Darrell and Andre (nephews), a host of cousins and lastly James C. Vaughan Jr & 3rd (son and grandson). I’d be remised if I didn’t mention her former students whom she loved as her own children and her former coworkers many of whom she loved as friends, brothers and sisters.

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