Howard Nelson Vaughn

Howard Nelson Vaughn

Howard Nelson Vaughn

December 19, 1953 – May 11, 2023

SMITHFIELD – Howard Nelson Vaughn, 69, passed away on Thursday, May 11, 2023.  He was born in Wake County to the late Houston Emral Vaughn and Jo Ann Williams Vaughn.  He worked as a Rehabilitation Therapist for Johnston County Mental Health. He was a voracious reader, a lover of music and the outdoors, and always enjoyed a good (and many a bad) joke. Nelson’s kindness and humor will be remembered by his family and friends.

He is survived by his sons, Evan Vaughn, Colin Vaughn (Casey), and Alec Vaughn; siblings, Neal Vaughn (Shawna) and Lori Carter; as well as many dear friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the National Library Service for the Blind, PBS, or your local library.


  • Donnie Pearce Posted May 14, 2023 1:00 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of Nelson’s passing. I’m sure he will be missed by all those whose lives he touched. I was thinking about him this past week. Please let me know when a Celebration of Life will be.

    • Lori Posted June 8, 2023 11:16 pm

      Hello Donnie,
      I apologize for the late notice. A Service of Remembrance and potluck meal will be this Sunday, June 11. It will be held at Smithfield Community Park; Shelter #5. 600 Booker Dairy Road in Smithfield. People can arrive in the 2 o’clock hour; an informal, yet meaningful service will begin around 3 pm. I hope to see you there. Lori

  • Lewis Liles Posted May 18, 2023 6:52 am

    Thoughts and prayers are with the family. Nelson was a fine young man. His Zebulon friends will miss him.

    • Lori Posted June 8, 2023 11:17 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Lewis. They mean a lot.
      Lori (Nelson’s sister)

  • Dianne Pearce Posted May 18, 2023 7:55 pm

    So So sorry to hear of Nelson’s passing. Condolences to his family.

    • Lori Posted June 8, 2023 11:19 pm

      Thank you Dianne for acknowledging Nelson’s passing. It means a lot to us that he is being remembered by his Zebulon friends.

  • Bryant Lewis Posted June 5, 2023 6:26 pm

    Sorry to hear about Nelson. His imagination pretty much scripted our childhood play outside for hours every day, with little more than sticks and rocks for props. We built “forts” and dug “foxholes” and “attacked” the abandoned chickenhouse. We entered Scouts together, biked, hiked, and played/traded marbles. He found ways to turn most anything into a game or adventure. Nelson always had a goal to achieve or something to build from whatever we could scrounge. Nelson helped me to enjoy a rich, creative childhood. My condolences to his family.

    • Lori Posted June 8, 2023 11:22 pm

      Bryant, thank you for taking time to share your remembrances of Nelson especially when the two of you were kids. He never lost his sense of adventure or his sense of humor..
      You were a good friend to him and we thank you.

      • Jennifer Sorrell Pressnell Posted June 13, 2023 10:45 pm

        Hey Lori..
        Hi Lori…
        I’m Ben (Benny) Sorrell’s daughter. I’m so sorry for your loss. Daddy was wanting to talk to you if he could. Anne Marie didn’t have any contact info for you and I just saw you here. We’re all thinking of y’all.
        Much love,

  • Wanda Pell Posted June 18, 2023 1:17 pm

    I just heard of Nelson’s passing. It has been many years but he has always had a special place in my heart. Many good times over many years. I’m sorry for you, Neal and his family.

  • Jean Pearce Whitfield Posted April 12, 2024 11:48 am

    I finally found out just this week (April 2024) that Nelson had passed away. I tried several times to find out how to contact him as I had heard he was significantly impacted by a disease – just wanted to reach out, but no one knew what happened to him. He and I were sweethearts in high school, and I loved him very much! I have many fond memories.

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