Edward R. Vaughan
January 8, 1946 – March 3, 2023
SERVICE: Thursday, March 9th, 10:30am at Holy Name Catholic Church, 2901 Fontenelle Blvd, followed by a 2:30pm Interment with Military Honors at Omaha National Cemetery.
To view a live broadcast of the services, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button.
Memorials will be directed by the family.
Edward Reginald Vaughan passed away at home in Omaha on March 3, 2023.
Edward “Tough Eddie” Vaughan was born to Leo and Mary Vaughan on January 8, 1946. He was the 8th in line of the 18 Vaughan children. He was incredibly proud of his family, faith, and Irish heritage.
In 1964 he joined the Navy aboard the USS DELTA. He spent the next four years working in the ships’ repair division. He traveled the world and participated in boxing and the USS DELTA baseball team. He received the National Defense Service Medal and was transferred to the Naval reserve after a vehicular crash resulted in injury while on active duty. When he returned home, he studied at Creighton University in Omaha, NE.
After traveling the United States and living briefly in California, he settled in Breckinridge, CO. As an avid skier, he had a love for working at the resort during ski season. This is where he met his wife, Suzanne, at a Valentine’s Day party. He left a real impression when he jumped from a ski lift onto the slopes, and the two moved back to Omaha at the end of the season.
Back in Omaha, he became a passionate advocate for communities in need. As one of the founders of Holy Name Housing, he sought change for the direction of the neighborhood he spent much of his childhood. Since its incorporation in 1982 as a nonprofit entity, Holy Name Housing Corporation has built or renovated more than 500 homes, established three subdivisions for families, and refurbished the historical Leo Vaughan Manor, named for his father, into apartments for the elderly in North Omaha neighborhoods.
As a Harvard Kennedy School of Government Community Builder graduate, he promoted scholarly work, research, and curriculum development at Harvard on Native issues and studies.
In 1999 he was hired by the United States Federal Government as a Program Specialist with HUD’s Northern Plains Office of Native American Programs in Denver, Colorado. He was responsible for the oversight and marketing of the Native American lending programs and the origination of 32 million in loan guarantees annually. Practical experience working within a tribal government as a consultant and Interim Reservation Based Nonprofit Housing Director. He was known for his quick wit and entertaining an audience with his favorite icebreakers before presenting to a crowd. He was able to build relationships and gain trust within the Native American communities he worked with, and he cared deeply about his life’s work and the people that he aimed to help.
As a member of the Region VIII Disaster Recovery Team, he was deployed twice to assist at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers. In 2011, in response to a Presidentially Declared Disasters Area flood in Minot ND, and again in 2012, serving his deployment assignment in New York at a Joint FEMA-Disaster Recovery Centers located in areas where there was a great need for assistance to the impacted residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. In 2007 he was a graduate of the Public and Indian Housing Leadership Development Program in Washington, DC. He had more than 28 years of combined experience in the mortgage lending and financial services industries at the time of his retirement in 2017.
As a nationally recognized specialist, he received numerous achievement and honorary awards for outstanding performance throughout his career, including:
1986 Mayor’s Partnership Award, Omaha, Nebraska / 1986 Certificate of Special Merit, HUD, Washington D.C. / 1987 Historic Preservation Award, State of Nebraska / 1987 Partnership Award, Local Initiative Support Corp. / 1992 Human Relations Award, Omaha Education Association / 1992 Preservation Award, Landmarks Inc. / 1992 Governor’s Appointment, Interagency Council on Homelessness.
He was a devoted family man and a proud father. He watched and coached countless hours of his kids’ soccer games and devoted hundreds of hours to wrestling tournaments. He enjoyed watching his own kids, and then grandchildren after that, in various activities from football to dance recitals and everything in between.
His ability to retain information and learn abundant trades was only matched by his love for teaching these to his children, for which they will remain forever grateful.
He had a love for keeping traditions alive with special attention to the holidays with family, making large batches of popcorn for movie nights with his grandchildren, shooting confetti balloons and banging pots and pans on New Year’s Eve, cooking large family breakfasts any chance he got, and helping with the planning and attending the annual Vaughan Brothers Deer Hunt.
Edward retired and moved back to Omaha in 2018, where he spent his time enjoying being near family.
Edward is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Suzanne Vaughan; children: Seamus (Alex) Vaughan, Austin Vaughan, Mason (Ronni) Vaughan, Tierney (Matt) Neneman, and Bailey Vaughan; grandchildren: Teagan, Brecon, Vailen, Doolin, and Seamus Vaughan, Aylah, Lochlan, Emmer, and Fletcher Vaughan, Edward, Louis, and Virginia Neneman; brothers: Leo, John, Joe, Pat, and Marty; sisters: Rose, Vickie, Mary Claire, Terry, Mickey, and Ann.
He is preceded in death by his son, Morgan Vaughan; parents, Leo and Mary Vaughan; brothers, Emmett and Tommy; sisters: Josephine (Dokey), Moira, Bridget, and Teddy.